OAK BAY – Derelict vessels along Cadboro Bay need to be cleaned up, and Bryce Casavant, has pointed to a lack of leadership from the provincial and federal, rather than municipal, governments as the source of this long-standing issue.
Actions speak louder than blame
“Municipalities and taxpayers have voiced their concerns about derelict vessels loudly and clearly, but it is the provincial government that must show leadership to ensure that this environmental issue is dealt with, rather than trying to pass off derelict vessels as only within the purview of the federal government,” Casavant says. “The issue of derelict vessels crosses jurisdictions, from municipal to provincial to federal. It is unfair to try to place blame on municipal leaders who have, for years, been calling for a clear management strategy for this problem.” Casavant, a former Conservation Officer for the Ministry of Environment, knows that political will dictates the supports provided to municipalities and residents.
Effective leadership needed
“We need effective provincial representation in the legislature that supports municipal officials and protects our environment, heritage, culture, and the investment taxpayers have made in their properties,” Casavant says. “We need provincial representatives that will step-up and work with all levels of government to ensure that a clear management plan is in place. Without this leadership, the issue of derelict vessels will continue to fall through the cracks as the provincial and federal governments pass it back and forth like a hot potato.”
Casavant will meet with stakeholders in the coming weeks to develop a strategy with clear funding goals for cleaning up and maintaining the waterfront properties and natural places of Oak Bay and Saanich.