Court action delayed to remove derelict boats from the Gorge Waterway

Owners of derelict boats in the Gorge Waterway have delayed court action by the City of Victoria to have 16 boats removed from the waterway.

The City went to BC Supreme Court Monday, but the owners of the boats are seeking legal council further delaying the case 45 days.

The city is seeking a single court order to remove all boats and docks moored in the Gorge waterway in violation of a bylaw.

That bylaw, approved in 2016, limits boat owners to 48 consecutive hours of moorage in the Gorge and a maximum of 72 hours over 30 days.

Shellie Gudgeon, former Victoria City Councillor and spokesperson for the Viens of Life Watershed Society says the City had to do something.

"In a civil society, we have to have rules and laws that we have people abide by and I think the City has taken a reasonable approach by allowing the 72 hours in a 30-day period."

Local governments - Esquimalt, Victoria, Saanich and the Capital Regional District - have spent the past year looking for support from Transport Canada and the province when they must deal with derelict boats and marine squatters.

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