Kathryn Spirit must leave!

Help us out to put pressure on the federal government


Update January 24, 2016


You can   write to the ministers who are responsible for the   issue by  e mail (fill in   the subject line   and sign the form letter   – the text has been prepared)

Click here to send a message by email to Ministers Tootoo and Garneau asking them to act!

If the link does not work, please copy paste the letter below and click here to send it to Mr. Tootoo, or here to Minister Marc Garneau.

Dear Minister Tootoo,

I am writing to inform you of an environmental concern that requires immediate action in Beauharnois.

The Kathryn Spirit cargo ship has been anchored to a make shift dock since 2011.  Recently, it was abandoned by its owner, Reciclajes Ecologicos Maritimos. The Mexican company filed for bankruptcy and it states that it will no longer repair or monitor the vessel.

The wreck, having been abandonned at the peak of the winter season could leak and cause significant damage to the environment and to the local population. The Lac St-Louis is part of the St. Lawrence Seaway and it is a source of drinking water to our riding and to the greater Montreal region.

The MP for Salaberry-Suroît, the city of Beauharnois, the MRC of Beauharnois-Salaberry and the mayor of Montreal have all expressed their concerns about the environmental and health risks posed by the Kathryn Spirit.

In the case like this, the Act on Canada Shipping of 2001 says it is the federal government's responsibility to take action to move or dispose of a wreck that represents a threat to navigation or to the environment.

Prompt action is essential to prevent a potential catastrophe. I ask that you to take the necessary steps to remove the shipwreck from the Beauharnois region so that it may be dismantled in dry dock or in a port equipped for this purpose.

Please accept, Mr. Tootoo, the assurances of my highest consideration.

or mail by filling out the Word document at the bottom of the page. You can send the letter to the addresses listed below.(no need for postage) :

L'honorable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transports
House of Commons


L'honorable Hunter Tootoo, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
House of Commons

You can contact them on social media :

Mr. Hunter Tootoo : Twitter or Page Facebook

Mr. Marc Garneau : Twitter  or Page Facebook


Since 2011, the Kathryn Spirit wreck has been rusting in the waters of Lac St.Louis. In the summer of that year, a demolition company, Groupe St. Pierre, purchased a 50,000-tonne old cargo ship and sailed it to Beauharnois. Groupe St. Pierre planned to demolish the vessel directly in the waters of Lac St. Louis, an inappropriate place because it is near Highway 132 and a park that is very popular with families and fishermen.

MP Anne Minh-Thu Quach has already expressed concerns about the harm to the environment, since the lake is used as the drinking water reservoir for several municipalities, including Beauharnois, Montreal and Châteauguay. She invited journalists to a press conference in front of the boat in December 2011. (CTV article: Beauharnois wary of pollution from shop dismantling )

Groupe St. Pierre said at the time that it did not need approval. Following pressure from Beauharnois city council, Member of Parliament for Beauharnois-Salaberry Anne Quach, and the media, Groupe St. Pierre announced in February 2012 that it would not be dismantling the wreck. Groupe St. Pierre signed an agreement to sell the wreck to CAI Group, a specialized Mexican company. (Infosuroit article: L’épave du Kathryn Spirit tangue dangereusement )

In 2012, 2013 and 2014 the MP made numerous efforts to have the ship moved. Unfortunately, nothing has changed. The Kathryn Spirit still lies on the shores of Lac St. Louis. There is no transparency on this file, and there never has been. Very little information has been disclosed about the water inside the boat and needed repairs, as the MP pointed out in a TVA report. ( video in French here )

The ship is deteriorating and putting the environment and health of nearby residents at greater and greater risk. Moreover, Transport Canada has prohibited it from sailing until the mexican company makes the necessary repairs. It is therefore becoming harder and harder to move it.

Despite the fact that since 2011 the MP has sent dozens of letters to various stakeholders, including Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, and Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, asking them what action they intend to take, the federal government still refuses to intervene. (Le Soleil article: Dans le paysage pour toujours? )

This wreck symbolizes the Conservative government’s inaction. It is time for the federal government to drop its laissez-faire attitude and take responsibility. That is why the MP intends to put pressure on the government so that the boat does not spend a fourth winter in Beauharnois. On September 30, she took advantage of Question Period to denounce the Conservative government’s inaction. ( video here )

The MP does not plan to stop there. Support us in this project so that the ship is moved out of Lac St. Louis as soon as possible.

  • Sign the petition at the bottom of the page. Print it, have your friends and family sign it, and return it to the following address (no stamp needed):
    Anne Minh-Thu Quach, MP
    House of Commons
    OTTAWA, ON  K1A 0A6 
  • On October 18 take part in a community action day. We invite you to join us and go door-to-door to meet your neighbours and make the Conservative government listen to reason.