Letter to Hon. Hunter Tootoo

November 9, 2015

BC Nautical Residents Association
309 – 1521 Church Avenue Victoria BC V8P 5T7
www.bcnr.org II feedback@bcnr.org

Hon. Hunter Tootoo
Minister, Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario

Re: Derelict and Abandoned Vessels; Protection of the Rights of Liveaboard Boaters

Dear Minister Tootoo:

Congratulations on your appointment to the Fisheries, Oceans, and Canadian Coast Guard portfolio. As Canadians living on boats and floathomes, members of the BC Nautical Residents Association (BCNRA) count themselves among your constituents.

The BC Nautical Residents Association was founded in 2010 by a group of liveaboard boaters to encourage living aboard responsibly and to find solutions to issues faced by people who live on the water. The BCNR’s mission statement is to:

1. Preserve and support the tradition of living aboard one’s vessel;
2. Promote environmental awareness among liveaboards;
3. Establish effective communications and resolve issues of concern to liveaboards;
4. Serve as a voice for liveaboards regarding activities that affect BC waterways.

During the previous parliamentary session, the then-M.P. for Nanaimo, Jean Crowder, introduced a private member’s bill, C638, regarding a process to clean up derelict vessels along Canada’s coastlines. Regrettably, the Conservatives defeated the bill. While the majority of boat owners are responsible maintainers of their vessels, sometimes boats become wrecks or derelicts through accident, neglect, or abandonment. The BCNRA believes that the Coast Guard has the expertise, and should have the adequate resources, to dispose of wrecks and derelicts in an environmentally sustainable way.

Our Association supports the introduction of an annual decal program, similar to that of Washington State. In Washington, an annual decal costs approximately $28US and the proceeds go to marine enhancements, including the removal of derelict and abandoned vessels. A Canadian Coast Guard staff person once told a BCNRA director that if the Coast Guard had $2/boat/year, there would be no problem in removing wrecks. The Association encourages you as Minister to introduce legislation that will adequately fund the Canadian Coast Guard to deal with derelict and abandoned vessels.

The Association also requests that your Ministry investigate and reverse the trend by harbour authorities to deny moorage at public docks to liveaboard boaters. As Canadian citizens or permanent residents, liveaboards should have as much right to moor at public docks as commercial or recreational vessels have. However, this is not the case. In British Columbia, it seems that only the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority welcomes liveaboards, while the harbour authorities in Sidney, Cowichan Bay, Vancouver, Port Hardy, and Port Alberni, to name just a few, have eliminated liveaboards all together, or grandfathered them in while prohibiting newcomers.

Direction for the prohibition appears to come from the DFO. We refer you to http://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/consultation/sch-ppb/docs/min-pv/2014-10-29-eng.pdf, page 4, item 6, which states it is the Small Craft Harbours, Pacific Regional Harbour Authority’s policy that the SCH ‘…has and continues to discourage liveaboards [my italics]…’

This policy is discriminatory. The BC Nautical Residents Association would like to see the Liberal Government take a humane, inclusive, and proactive approach to protecting the right of Canadians to live aboard their vessels at public docks as well as private marinas.

Thank you for your consideration of these two issues, Minister Tootoo. We look forward to receiving your views on funding the Canadian Coast Guard to remove derelict and abandoned vessels where necessary, and to protecting the rights of Canadians who choose to live as nautical residents.

Yours sincerely,

Donna Sassaman
Secretary
On behalf of the Board of Directors BC Nautical Residents Association feedback@bcnr.org

c.c. Conservative Fisheries Critic
Fin Donnelly, NDP Fisheries Critic
Elizabeth May, Leader, Green Party
Directors, BC Nautical Residents Association

Letter to the Editor – Re: Anchored Boats in Ladysmith Harbour

November 12, 2015

Ladysmith Chronicle
Box 400, 940 Oyster Bay Drive
Ladysmith, BC V9G 1A3

Re: Anchored Boats in Ladysmith Harbour

Dear Opinion Page Editor:

The BC Nautical Residents Association (BCNRA) was founded in 2010 by a group of liveaboard boaters to encourage living aboard responsibly and to find solutions to issues faced by people who live on the water. The BCNR’s mission statement is to:

  1. Preserve and support the tradition of living aboard one’s vessel;
  2. Promote environmental awareness among liveaboards;
  3. Establish effective communications and resolve issues of concern to liveaboards;
  4. Serve as a voice for liveaboards regarding activities that affect BC waterways.

Several of BCNRA’s members live aboard their boats in ‘Dog Patch’. Some have been there for years. They are citizens: they shop, work, volunteer, and vote in Ladysmith and the environs. Some of Ladysmith’s liveaboards at one point made a conscious decision to live a nautical lifestyle, while others may have fallen into it through any number of life’s challenges. They are like many of Ladysmith’s land-based residents – a mix of family composition, with a range of ages, economic resources, educational backgrounds, interests, political viewpoints, and hobbies. Like most Canadians, they just want to live and let live.

Some shore-side residents object to seeing boats at anchor, stating that they are ‘derelicts’ and/or not paying their fair share. Some of the boats may be unsightly, but if they are floating high on their waterlines and are being monitored by their owners, they are not derelicts. There are houses in our coastal communities that will never make it into Better Homes and Gardens but no one is demanding they be eliminated. Why should boats at anchor be banished? Buildings must conform to maintenance bylaws. Why not boats? Land-based residents must pay for services such as water, garbage, fire, and police protection. Why not set up a system for liveaboards to pay for the services they use?

Liveaboard vessels by definition are not derelicts. Derelict “… generally means vessel or cargo which has been abandoned and deserted at sea by those who were in charge of it without any hope of recovering it.” [BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations’ Technical Staff Guide on Problem Vessels] The question of liveaboards in Dog Patch should not be conflated with the issue of the Vicki Lynne.

During the last parliamentary session, the then-M.P. for Nanaimo, Jean Crowder, introduced a private member’s bill, C-638, regarding a process to clean up derelict vessels along Canada’s coastlines. Regrettably, the previous government defeated the bill. While the majority of boat owners are responsible maintainers of their vessels, sometimes boats become wrecks or derelicts through accident, neglect, or abandonment. The Coast Guard has the expertise, and should have the adequate resources, to dispose of wrecks and derelicts in an environmentally sustainable way.

Our Association supports the introduction of an annual decal program, similar to that of Washington State. In Washington, an annual decal costs approximately $28US and the proceeds go to marine enhancements, including the removal of derelict and abandoned vessels. A Canadian Coast Guard staff person once told a BCNRA director that if the Coast Guard had $2/boat/year, there would be no problem in removing wrecks.

The BCNRA encourages Canadians to write to Hunter Tootoo, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard (hunter.tootoo@parl.gc.ca), requesting that he introduce legislation to adequately fund the Canadian Coast Guard to deal with derelict and abandoned vessels.

Finally, the BC Nautical Residents Association is encouraged to learn that the municipality has struck a working group, comprising various levels of government, the local First Nations, and stakeholders, including boaters at anchor, to arrive at a mutually satisfactory solution to whatever issues have been identified.

Thank you.

Rick Schnurr, Director
Bill Sassaman, Director
BC Nautical Residents Association


Note: the published version of this letter was abbreviated due to word count constraints. It communicates the same message with less detail.

Who’s the best party for marine residents?

I realize this is a complicated question but with advanced polls starting today, I thought it would be interesting to see if there is a general consensus among liveaboards on who to vote for. Attached to this post on our website is a poll to fill out. Any discussion on our blog or Facebook to further explain your positions is welcome and note, that the BCNRA remains nonpartisan. Thanks! – Kris

In the 2015 election, which party do you feel will best address the needs of marine residents for the future?

  • Green (42%, 5 Votes)
  • NDP (33%, 4 Votes)
  • Liberal (8%, 1 Votes)
  • Other (8%, 1 Votes)
  • I don't know (8%, 1 Votes)
  • Conservative (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 11

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BCNRA 2015 AGM

2015September

Dear Members:

Please plan to attend the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the BC Nautical Residents Association. It is scheduled for Sunday, October 25th, 3:30 pm, at Canoe Cove Joe’s Café, located at Canoe Cove Marina, 2300 Canoe Cove Rd (near the ferry terminal) North Saanich.

A new Board of Directors (5 – 7 members) will be elected at the AGM. If you are interested in serving, please be prepared to let your name stand at the meeting. All board candidates will be asked to introduce themselves before the election. No long political speeches are required…or desired! You’ll have two minutes maximum to say your background (professional and/or personal and/or boating), your home port, and why you’re interested in running for the BCNRA Board of Directors.

If you have an item that you would like discussed at the AGM, please send it to us through the contact form by October 18, 2015, to ensure that you’ll have time on the agenda.

Please RSVP your attendance to by email. If you are unable to attend the meeting in person, please complete and return the Proxy Vote Form by October 18th.

The annual business meeting of the BCNRA will be followed by a no host dinner (menu and pricing to follow) at the cafe. As the BCNRA is not being charged for the use of this venue, we sincerely hope that all who attend our AGM will stay for dinner, spirits and dessert. There will be lots of opportunity to meet new and old friends, trade stories and
talk living aboard.

Looking forward to seeing you at the BCNRA AGM!

Donna Sassaman
Recording Secretary
BC Nautical Residents Association

Massive Marine Garage Sale 2015

photo 2If you’re looking to gain some freeboard this year, we can help! BCNRA is seeking donations for our table at the 2015 Massive Marine Garage Sale in Victoria. If you have anything you’d like to contribute, please let us know by responding to the recent members email or sending us a message through our website. We have folks available until April 24th to receive or pick your items in the Victoria and Sidney area.

Learn more about how your donations are used here and thank you for your support!

Where and When?
Saturday, April 25, from 9:00am — 1:00pm, in it’s usual place ? the Pier A warehouse building at Ogden Point (the cruise ship terminal) in Victoria. Entrance is $5 for adults and children 12 and under are FREE. For more information visit: http://mmbc.bc.ca/massive-marine-garage-sale/

2014-2015 BCNRA Directors

Directors_editThanks to those who attended the 2014 AGM. Seven Directors were elected – Some familiar and a few new faces! The 2014-2015 BCNRA Directors (left to right): Kris Samuels – Esquimalt, Allan Crease – Salt Spring Island, Bill Sassaman – Cowichan Bay, Ken Lund – Nanaimo, Tim Finlay – Victoria and Pender Island, Rick Schnurr – North Saanich, and Randy van Eyk, Vancouver

New Marina Managment In Nanaimo

Many consider Nanaimo a great provisioning stop on their way North or South along the inside passage. Some changes may be in the air (for good or bad?) as the Nanaimo Port Authority works on signing a deal with Pacific Northwest Marina Group which would mean the private company would have a 30-year management agreement. Please see the full story in this link:

http://www.nanaimodailynews.com/news/nanaimo-region/port-authority-inks-deal-for-9-million-marina-makeover-1.257147

Pacific Northwest Marina Group
Pacific Northwest Marina Group
Pacific Northwest Marina Group

2014 Annual General Meeting

October, 2014

Dear Member:

Please plan to attend the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the BC Nautical Residents Association. It is scheduled for Sunday, November 16th, 4:00pm, at the Stonehouse Pub, located at 2215 Canoe Cove Rd, North Saanich, BC V8L 3X9. Please plan to stay for a ‘no host’ dinner after adjournment of the meeting. The food is great and the pub is a relaxing environment in which to get acquainted with your fellow nautical residents!

Please RSVP your attendance and dinner reservation by responding to our broadcast email or via our contact form.

If you are unable to attend the meeting in person, please complete and return the Proxy Vote Form by November 2nd. You can mail it to: BC Nautical Residents Association, 309 – 1521 Church Avenue, Victoria, BC  V8P 5T7, email it (scan your signed form and respond to the broadcast email), or fax it to 250-479-4192. Thank you.

A new Board of Directors (5 – 7 members) will be elected at the AGM. If you are interested in serving, please be prepared to let your name stand at the meeting. All board candidates will be asked to introduce themselves before the election. No long political speeches are required! You’ll have two minutes maximum to introduce yourself, including where you’re from, the skills and experience you would bring to the organization, and why you’re interested in serving on the BCNRA Board of Directors.

If you can’t attend the AGM, and want to run for the Board, email your introduction by November 2nd and confirm that you would be able to attend monthly directors’ meetings in person or by Skype.

If you have an item that you would like discussed at the AGM, please email it to us through our contact form by November 2nd to ensure that you’ll have time on the agenda.

Looking forward to seeing you at the BCNRA AGM!

Donna Sassaman
Recording Secretary
BC Nautical Residents Association

2014 Member Survey

Whether you can make it to the AGM or not, we’d like to hear from you! Please take the time to complete this short survey prior to the 2014 AGM. This will help the directors to continue moving forward in supporting marine communities on the BC Coast. You can either respond to this email or complete the online form.

Online Form: http://bcnr.org/current-events/2014-member-survey/

Date ________________
Name _______________

1. What do you believe to be the biggest challenges for marine communities in your area or on the BC coast?

2. In the last few years have you noticed any positive changes in marine communities?

3. Are there any areas where you feel the BCNRA isn’t doing enough?

4. Would you be willing to volunteer or fund projects for the benefit of all marine communities?

5. What else would you say to the directors of the BCNRA?

Harbour Dialogue Open House and Ideas Forum – Victoria

Rick, Tim and Kris attended the Harbour Dialogue Open House and Ideas Forum put on by the City of Victoria this past weekend. We were interested to hear the ideas and to ensure that marine communities were considered as the city works to improve the inner harbour. For more information and an opportunity to share your ideas in a survey, follow the link below.

http://www.victoria.ca/EN/main/departments/planning-development/community-planning/harbour-dialogue.html

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