The Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Joyce Murray, today announced the Canadian Coast Guard will now take action against owners of hazardous boats or wrecks. This will strengthen the Canadian Coast Guard’s ability to address problem vessels, and ensure irresponsible boat owners are held financially liable.
The Canadian Coast Guard works together with boat owners to address problem vessels. The Canadian Coast Guard will now provide written notices to owners when their boat poses a hazard. The Canadian Coast Guard can then issue fines, when appropriate. Not complying with a written notice can result in fines of up to $50,000 for individuals and $250,000 for companies or corporations. Serious offences could result in a maximum fine of $1 million for individuals, and up to 3 years of jail and $6 million for companies or corporations.
This new Compliance and Enforcement program is another tool to support our efforts to keep our waters and communities safe and free from marine hazards. Abandoned, wrecked or hazardous boats are a problem across Canada. Through Canada’s Oceans Protection Plan, the Government of Canada is taking further action to address problem vessels, educate boat owners and protect Canada’s coasts and waterways.
The Canadian Coast Guard maintains a publicly available national inventory of problem boats across Canada to better track these boats and help prioritize which ones should be dealt with first. To date, over 2,000 wrecked, abandoned or hazardous boats have been reported.
Since 2016, under the Oceans Protection Plan, the Government of Canada has funded almost 500 projects to remove and dispose of abandoned, wrecked or hazardous boats across Canada and has made it illegal to abandon a boat in Canada’s waters.
(Dreamstime photo of abandoned boat on Lake Ontario)