Efforts to rid Beauharnois of shipwreck continue

MP Anne Quach and Minister Hunter TootooOTTAWA — NDP MP Anne Minh-Thu Quach (Salaberry-Suroît) met with the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard Hunter Tootoo to provide him options that would assure the departure of the Kathryn Spirit from the shores of Beauharnois this coming spring.

« During the last election, I promised residents of my riding that I would take every measure possible to ensure the speedy removal of the ship, declared Mrs. Quach. The meeting was satisfactory because the minister assured me that the working group's mandate is to dispose of the wreck within a reasonable timeframe and that the Coast Guard will continue to monitor the wreck.  This meeting was a positive milestone however a lot of work is still needed.”

The MP asked Minister Tootoo to sit on the working group involving the Kathryn Spirit.  She looks forward to providing concrete solutions and to propose measures that the government can implement immediately. She also insisted that the liberal government must remove the ship from Beauharnois’ source of drinking water as soon as possible.  Once St. Lawrence Seaway is open there will be an increased risk of propagation of contaminants aboard.

Additionally, Mrs. Quach brought up the private members bill which would modify the Canada Shipping Act to accelerate our government’s ability to seize a wreck.  This could avoid issues like the Kathryn Spirit from occurring elsewhere in the country.  The bill would make the federal government responsible for all abandoned ships and would require our government to act in order to protect the environment and/or public health.

« During the last campaign, I committed myself to this private members bill and I associated myself to my colleague Sheila Malcolmson to reintroduce this bill.  I have proposed a concrete plan to the Minster; the ball is now in his court.  Our liberal government must act before an environmental catastrophe occurs », concluded the MP.


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