The South Coast Ship Watching Alliance continued to deploy its activities during the past months. The new informative video published at the site of the Alliance is worth looking at. You can also subscribe to their newsletter at this address.
An article which each of you should read - and decide about her or his position on this issue was published by Dave Steen in The Cowichan Gazette and can be read, together with the New York Times article about the Climate summit in the media section (September) of our website.
The freighter parking in September continued - with somewhat lower activity and you can consult the numbers in the Statistics section of ACT website.
Finally, this is the last News article coming from my pen! After 3.5 years of keeping the statistics for the waters surrounding Thetis Island, programming and maintaining the ACT website it is the time to move on and to let some fresh minds to do the job. I have enjoyed your support and was happy to find some new friends sharing the concern about this irresponsible handling of Vancouver Fraser Port Authority and Canadian Government. Despite the slow progress on the field I trust that reason will prevail and the ship-parking activities In Salish Sea will stop!
An eventful August for all groups advocating against the parking of freighters in Salish Sea!
After a well attended meeting with Chris Straw on August 8th at the Nature House the new Alliance started to deploy - please check the new Website of South Coast Ship Watching Alliance . This action was, as announced, followed by a media campaign informing the wide public of the Transport Canada and the Shipping industry disastrous actions in the Salish Sea. You can consult the publications at CBC listen , CBC news or Driftwood.
In a supportive action CVRD is now also of the opinion that the parking should be stopped.
The 'consultation with local population' so acclaimed by the Transport Canada and its Interim Protocol, however, can be summarized by a simple statement - where is the government? The one way communication - media releases, complaints and letters from local authorities remain without significant answers. This create the impression that the Transport Canada, in its present configuration, is not up to the task!
Please consult the August ship-parking activity in our statistics.
Parking of freighter still continues, mainly in the Ladysmith area, despite empty English Bay! Transport Canada is playing deaf (read about this in our next news!).
Based on our complaints MP Elisabeth May sent a letter to Minister Garneau. Many thanks from ACT for this timely action! Islands Trust expressed their negative opinion about the efficacy of the Interim Protocol and it's extension, aligning with our position (see News June 2019 below). Many thanks!
ACT will host a discussion on August 8th, 4PM at the Nature House on Thetis Island, Invited speaker is Chris Straw from GAFA who will be talking about the newly formed South Coast Ship Watch Alliance and the planned Media Campaign.
Month of June experienced a large increase in the frequency and duration of freighters parking around Thetis Island, particularly the cape-sized freighters exporting (mostly) thermal coal from Canada and USA!
This increase happened despite the fact that the English Bay anchoring was never used to full capacity! This only proves that the promises (use of English Bay first before sending ships to Southern Gulf Islands (SGI)) are just a farce!
Our friends from Ladysmith have been very active and started two initiatives. The first - they request, rightly, that the Provincial government must start an Environmental Assessment of the freighter-parking activities in SGI.
ACT supports this initiative and invites you to do the same.
Additionally the Ladysmith group just issued a video aimed at sensitizing and informing the public about the freighter-parking activities in SGI. You can view this video on this address. Many thanks to our colleagues in Ladysmith for their initiative!!
ACT sent a letter to Transport Canada regarding our opinion about the failed Interim Protocol of Transport Canada.
The Interim Protocol, under which all the vessels are being sent to Southern Gulf Islands does not work. Transport Canada (TC) who should be in the driving seat of this protocol is inactive and does not communicate with involved parties. TC actually talks about extending the Interim Protocol which lasted already 1.5 years as it seams that this was not sufficient time for them to understand the process! Slow learners! ACT qualifies this Interim Protocol as a complete failure.
By the way, should you also feel that all these freighters around Thetis Island are not acceptable, you can help by sending your complaints this address.
The ship-parking activities around Thetis Island are increasing again. Ships are not supervised and the local population is being used by the government as canaries for sensing out the bad behavior of freighters. No on-site control is in place!
Also residents of Saltspring Island and Ladysmith are concerned and forming protesting organizations. We welcome them to our alliance!
Out of our statistics it appears that the planning process at VFPA is quite erratic - as example the ship Cape Sapphire (presently at anchor in Trincomali) was rescheduled 11 times during the one month of it's anchoring time!!
See the newest statistics for May on this address:
After a small respite at the beginning of February the freighter-parking around Thetis Island resumed to its previous intensity confirming the inability of Transport Canada and Port of Vancouver to bring the process under control.
To increase the weight of our activities a new Coastal Communities Alliance was formed by groups advocating against the anchorages of freighters in Southern Gulf Islands. A position paper was published assuring an aligned position of all participation groups.
Major part of freighter parking in Southern Gulf Islands are freighters transporting coal. A good part of this transported coal is the thermal coal which strongly contributes to the global warming. A good part of this coal comes actually from Wyoming (USA). Canadian Ministry of Environment and global change does not know (or does not want to know) about these exports.
Who will win?
A South Coast Ship Watch Alliance was founded by the regional groups to increase the impact of our work in January 2019