Quebec politicians call on federal government to remove abandoned ship before it breaks up

Quebec politicians on Tuesday turned to Canada’s federal government to ask for assistance in resolving the potential toxic pollution hazard presented by an abandoned cargo ship in the province’s Lake Saint-Louis, according to CBC.

The Kathryn Spirit was abandoned by its Mexican owners four years ago at the city of Beauharnois near Montreal and the St Lawrence River. The Mexican firm has since declared bankruptcy and all pumping operations to keep the ship upright have come to a halt.

The fear is that oil and other toxic materials on board could enter the lake and contaminate the water supply for Montreal.

While the Canadian Coast Guard and Quebec’s environment ministry on Tuesday insisted there are no significant quantities of contaminants on board, others are less sure.

The mayor of Montreal, Denis Coderre, the Mayor of Beauharnois, Claude Haineault, and New Democratic Party Member of Parliament Anne Minh-Thu Quach demanded federal agencies remove the ship on the grounds it poses a danger to the environment and to public health.

Mayor Coderre called for a meeting with representatives of the recently elected Liberal Party government to discuss the Kathryn Spirit.

Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.
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