Statement from MP Williamson & MLA Oliver: Bureaucratic neglect endangers the Saint John River

Grand Bay-Westfield, NB • John Williamson, Member of Parliament for New Brunswick Southwest, and Bill Oliver, Member of the Legislative Assembly for Kings Centre, are calling on Transport Canada and the Canadian Coast Guard to immediately remove the wrecked vessel Not a Starship from the Saint John River.

Since January, evaluations by Transport Canada and the Coast Guard have underestimated the immediate risks posed by Not a Starship. Visible evidence of the vessel’s diesel, generator fuel and battery fluid leaking into the river throughout the winter was not enough to convince federal officials that this wreck was abandoned. Now, its 17-metre mast pierces the water from the river’s bed posing a clear risk to unsuspecting boaters. Likelihood of a collision has only heightened as nearby boat traffic increases with warmer weather.

“Ottawa must immediately remove the wrecked sailboat Not a Starship. Any further delays would demonstrate an unacceptable disregard for environmental protection and community safety along the Saint John River. This is another example of bureaucratic and oversight failures that demands immediate corrective action by the Liberal government,” said MP Williamson.

“It’s time the federal government took responsibility for this matter. People are concerned for the safety of the environment and the safety of those who use the river system. We need to have the boat removed immediately before boating activities increase, we’ve waited long enough, the time to act is now,” said MLA Oliver.

MP Williamson and MLA Oliver call on Minister of Transport Rodriguez and Minister of Fisheries Lebouthillier to overrule their departments and use the federal powers granted to them under the Wrecked, Abandoned or Hazardous Vessels Act to remove this wreck immediately. The wreck’s owner had until April 30 to remove it and that deadline has passed. It is now time for Ottawa to act without further delays.

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Press Release