On Sunday, Oct. 22, The Concerned Citizens of Baynes Sound (CCOBS) held a well attended march to Highway 19A at the entrance of Deep Water Recovery, the ship-breaking company that has disrespected environmental stewardship of the foreshore In Union Bay. They are breaking up ships on the beach for the value of the metal, and the huge amount of toxicity contained in these old ships threatens the waters of Baynes Sound and the people who live here, in the highest producing aquaculture area in the Province. Deep Water Recovery has no social licence in Union Bay, and this is an issue that brings residents together from across the ideological spectrum. All residents of the Baynes Sound region have a stake in the health of the ocean.
The Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) considers Deepwater Recovery in violation of land use bylaws, but has not been able to stop work on the site, pending a Provincial Court date to determine whether the CVRD jurisdiction and their bylaws are enforceable in this case. According to CVRD Area A Director Daniel Arbour, if the CVRD loses this case, the Province and Federal governments will be forced to decide whether they will regulate ship-breaking, and mandate proper containment measures. Currently, Canada, and indeed B.C., does not have the level of regulation of any other Western industrialized country. It’s beyond embarrassing, as our governments have made proclamations about dealing with derelict hulls all along our coastlines.
TIG has reported on this story, and will continue to follow it closely, as a Provincial Court date is expected prior to the end of 2023.