A derelict boat at Island View Beach Regional Park. (Kevin McLaughlin/Contributed)

Cleanup of derelict vessels in Oak Bay delayed… again

With CRD support in limbo and an onerous federal grant process, Oak Bay is at a difficult impasse.

Plans to quickly rid Cadboro Bay of long-discussed derelict boats and debris has once again struck a proverbial reef.

At least, that’s what the mood felt like at Monday night’s council meeting, just as the dime fell revealing that the federal government’s abandoned boats program isn’t the long-awaited solution Oak Bay council aimed for.

“We had high hopes for the (federal abandoned boats) program, but it may not be all that it’s cracked up to be, from our perspective,” said Mayor Nils Jensen.

The disappointment came from a staff report that began on July 17 this year, meant to show outlining discussions with the Oak Bay Marine Group, Royal Victoria Yacht Club and Dead Boat Society to figure out an immediate clean-up effort of derelict vessels.

What the report revealed instead however, is the district’s position between a rock and a hard place on the issue.

“Staff are not proposing to submit a separate grant application, as outlined in the report, the timelines and the scope of the required work are extensive and well outside of any work plan or our budget,” said Maura Jones, deputy director of corporate services, adding the other alternative is to look back towards the Capital Regional District for help.

“Instead, staff recommends that we continue to participate in the CRD community discussion for regional options to organize a cleanup of Cadboro Bay,” Jones told council, adding there are three hulls and various debris identified in Cadboro Bay that need attention.

But relying on the CRD may not turn out to be so fruitful either, with Coun. Kevin Murdoch pointing out that there was “no guarantee” that any action would be taken.

Coun. Michelle Kirby also expressed frustration over the weak choices available to Oak Bay, despite discussing the issue of derelict boats at length with federal and provincial counterparts at Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities and Union of B.C. Municipalities meetings.

“This kind of process should not be onerous and something that adds a burden to the municipality more so,” she said. “We already have a burden and we have all these challenges now to apply for a grant and do all this research and background work… we waited all these years for finally to get a response from the government and it’s an inadequate response.”

Some wheels are turning. In July, council approved a $4,000 grant from an unallocated grant in aid funds to the Royal Victoria Yacht Club to assist in the continued clean up and removal of derelict vessels located on the beach in Cadboro Bay. In addition to the funds provided, District Parks staff will assist on the actual day of clean up.

A date for the clean-up has not yet been confirmed, however.

The remaining funds will supposedly be provided by the province of up to $12,000.

As for the time being, Oak Bay’s ghost ships are remaining doomed to Davy Jones’ locker – at least until the CRD lends a hand or another, more effective solution is found.

octavian.lacatusu@oakbaynews.com

Just Posted

Widow of chef killed by SUV gives birth to twin boys

Khushal Rana was struck and killed by an out-of-control vehicle on Gorge Road last month

Development a risk to Garry oak woodlands: neighbour

Foul Bay Road development heads to public hearing

Saanich sends golf course application forward

Council gives tentative support for plans to rezone clubhouse of Cedar Hill Golf Course

Santa’s Light parade glides through town on Saturday

Vancouver Island’s most popular Christmas parade is back for its 36th year

End of the Quest

Oak Bay council unanimously denies Quest’s zoning amendment application

VIDEO: Innovating healthier homes

NZ Builders bring commercial concept into residential realm to improve energy efficiency and health

Boxes and boxes and boxes of books at annual Used Book Sale

Friends of GVPL Used Book Sale at Pearkes, Nov. 25 and 26

Washington Governor Jay Inslee visits B.C.

Premier John Horgan talks trains, pipelines with southern neighbour

Viral video shows deer killed on Snapchat in Campbell River

RCMP say they have identified those involved and are working with conservation officers

BC Conservatives call for ICBC reform

Leader Scott Anderson of Vernon calls ICBC ‘national embarrassment

Cost to fix Phoenix pay system to surpass $540 million: auditor general

Michael Ferguson’s review hints the entire system should be scrapped

B.C. government poverty strategy tour set to begin

Victoria first for B.C. committee, province-wide until next March

UPDATE: CBS fires Charlie Rose following allegations

Charlie Rose is the latest public figure to be accused with sexual misconduct allegations

Ikea relaunches dresser recall after eighth child dies

Recall is for all Ikea chest and dressers and includ 8 million Malm chest and dressers that were sold from 2002 through June 2016.

Most Read