Inaction by governments could cause the death of millions of animals and put 60 people out of work in Deep Bay.
The former federal Conservative government may be the chief culprit, but it is not alone.
A nor’easter is expected to blow into Deep Bay on Saturday. It could provide the final push that sends the abandoned 100-foot tugboat, the Silver King, to the bottom of the bay. Other derelicts clustered with the King could go down too. It’s not known how much fuel and/or oil is in these vessels, but no one believes they are clean.
What’s sad and maddening is the length of time — 10 years at least — everyone knew this day was coming. Former NEWS reporter Candace Wu was nominated for a provincial writing award for her stories on the subject in 2014. And she was writing about issues that were well known for many years.
The urgency of this matter is also a test for people who cash paycheques that are created by tax dollars.
Will anyone respond to the urgent call put out by an MP (Gord Johns) who belongs to a third-place party (NDP) from a region (Vancouver Island) that didn’t elect one member of the ruling party (Liberals)?
Does Prime Minister Justin Trudeau truly represent a fresh, more responsible federal government attitude toward protecting the environment, or does that only apply to carefully-crafted speeches delivered outside the country?
Do the federal Liberals only care about abandoned boats in the Atlantic where they have MPs? Is it true federal funding has been freed up to get a boat out of the water there? Is there a federal Liberal MP who speaks for the government on issues related to Vancouver Island, a point person for the media and the public?
How many boats will sink and waters will be fouled in the time it takes to develop federal laws around derelict vessels? Why is there no emergency fund and a list of contractors on call to respond to urgent matters such as the one in Deep Bay?
These questions about politics and process mean nothing to the dozens of families that could lose their livelihoods in our region, possibly in the next few days. Do these families mean anything to the federal government?
— Editorial by John Harding