Transport Canada announces new funds for removal of abandoned, wrecked boats

Transport Canada has announced funding to help coastal communities clear out abandoned boats and vessels that pose both as an eyesore and safety concern.

The department says $1.3 million is being made available to assess and remove abandoned boats from ports and harbours in British Columbia and Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as to support an education campaign to deter the practice.

Transport Minister Marc Garneau says abandoned vessels are a financial burden to communities and the funds will help mitigate the costs.

At least 21 vessels are slated to be removed from a number of harbours including in Ladysmith, B.C., Vancouver, Victoria and Port Saunders, N.L.

There is also funding in B.C. to assess 26 abandoned and wrecked boats, allowing port authorities and others to apply to have them removed.

The funding will also support research into developing environmentally friendly methods to recycle and dispose of boats.