Trust to ask Prime Minister Trudeau for moratorium on new anchorages

Sounder News

Tuesday, June 21 2016

The Islands Trust Council Chair Peter Luckham will be writing to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to express the federation’s opposition to the proposal to establish new freighter anchorages off the north-east coast of Gabriola Island. As part of that letter, Trust Council is asking for a moratorium on any new anchorages within the Trust Area until Transport Canada completes three actions:

1) assessed the cumulative risk and impacts associated with projected vessel traffic increases in the Salish Sea, 

2) developed a 20-year mitigation plan that includes measures to minimize anchorage use, and

3) implemented a process for comprehensive environmental, social and economic impact assessment prior to the establishment of any new anchorages. 

Trust Council is also asking Trust Chair Peter Luckham write the Federal Minister of Transport to encourage Transport Canada to engage in full community consultation and a detailed public analysis of the potential implications of extending the jurisdiction of the Nanaimo Port Authority, with a particular focus on compatibility with the Object of the Islands Trust to preserve and protect the waters of the Salish Sea. 

The motions were put forward by Gabriola Island trustees Heather O’Sullivan and Melanie Mamoser at last week’s Trust Council meeting on Pender Island.

GAFA representatives on Pender Island. Submitted photo.

Prior to the resolutions being passed, Council heard from presentations by representatives of Transport Canada Pacific Region, the Chamber of Shipping of BC, the Nanaimo Port Authority, Port of Vancouver, Raincoast Foundation and Gabriolans Against Freighter Anchorages (GAFA).

GAFA representative Mary Collyer spoke after the meeting saying, “This action by the Islands Trust demonstrates that the proposal to create anchorages in the waters of this legislatively protected area is of very serious concern for the entire Gulf Islands region.”

As pointed out by representatives of GAFA, the Islands Trust is the latest in a number of representative bodies to take a strong position against the anchorage proposal. 

Opposition has already been expressed by the Regional District of Nanaimo, the Gabriola Island Chamber of Commerce, the Gabriola Arts Council, and Communities to Protect Our Coast.