Canada introduces wreck removal legislation


NOVEMBER 1, 2017 — The Government of Canada has introduce the Wrecked, Abandoned or Hazardous Vessels Act in Parliament. Minister of Transport Marc Garneau, said the proposed legislation (Bill C-64) will proactively deal with wrecked, abandoned or hazardous vessels. It will also bring the Nairobi International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks, 2007 into force of law in Canada.

The legislation is being introduced as part of Canada's Oceans Protection Plan which aims to create a world-leading marine safety system, while preservinge cosystems, creating strong Indigenous partnerships and engaging coastal communities, and investing in research to ensure decisions are evidence based.

The Wrecked, Abandoned or Hazardous Vessels Act will:

  • prohibit vessel abandonment;
  • strengthen owner responsibility and liability for hazardous vessels and wrecks, including costs for clean-up and removal; and
  • empower the Government of Canada to take proactive action on hazardous vessels before they become more costly to Canadians.

Introduction of Bill C-64 in Parliament follows earlier actions that have included the following measures:

On September 21, 2017, the Nairobi International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks, 2007 was tabled in Parliament. The Convention will strengthen vessel owners' liability for hazardous wrecks from marine incidents.

On September 7, 2017, Fisheries and Oceans Canada launched a five-year $1.3 million Small Craft Harbours Abandoned and Wrecked Removals Program.

In August 2017, Transport Canada announced a total investment of over $175 million in seven measures to help protect Arctic waters as part of the Oceans Protection Plan.

In May 2017, Transport Canada launched a five-year $6.85 million Abandoned Boats Program, which provides funding support for the removal and disposal of hazardous small boats, helps educate boat owners about responsibly managing their end-of-life boats, and supports research on boat recycling.

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