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Shipbreaking open house and rally to be held in Union Bay Sunday

With shipbreaking continuing in nearby Baynes Sound, an open house and rally will be held this weekend for residents to learn about the topic.

Pacific Wild says the open house will run between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. at the Union Bay Community Hall and the rally will happen between 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. on Sunday, featuring speakers like Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns, CVRD director Daniel Arbour and Pacific Wild marine specialist Sydney Dixon.

The group says that since Deep Water Recovery Ltd. Began operating over two years ago, residents, local government, the K’ómoks First Nation and others have been opposing the operation.

They add the CVRD filed a notice of civil claim against Union Bay Industries Ltd. and Deep Water Recovery in April 2022, looking for relief from the courts and an order that prohibits the use of the property for ship breaking.

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Pacific Wild says the land is in a federally declared ecologically and biologically sensitive area that significantly contributes to the province’s shellfish industry and is one of the last commercial herring fisheries.

The organizers add they “understand that shipbreaking is necessary and could contribute to a circular economy but only in a deep-water port with containment and strict enforcement.”

They are calling on the province to revoke the foreshore lease for non-compliance which currently allows for the shipbreaking site.

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