The Saint Lawrence River has had a tough ride. Just as governments are slowly adopting and implementing strict raw sewage treatment, cities like Montreal enjoy the irresponsible freedom of dumping millions of gallons of raw sewage as a simple uncomplicated solution to managing the maintenance of it’s sewage system. In addition a network of badly designed overflows that are inadequately managed, tend to leak all year round. Montreal isn’t the only city betting on the swift currents to wash away their pollutants as an inexpensive solution. Many large Canadian cities like Toronto take advantage of the situation. All this waste ends up directly in our oceans, but not before leaving their mark on the flora and fauna of this weakened ecosystem.
A new threat has been lingering upstream from Montreal. An old cargo ship was abandoned by its Mexican owners, Reciclajes Ecológicos Marítimos. Unable to tow the ship to Mexico for final disassembly, the costs of maintaining the integrity of the Kathryn Spirit and continued pumping operations proved too much. The company declared bankruptcy and renounced ownership of the Kathryn Spirit. As a result, all pumping operations to keep the boat upright have stopped.
Anchored in Beauharnois for demolition in 2011, the Katrhryn Spirit has been surrounded in controversy due to the high risk of environmental damage. Municipal governments have protested this operation from its inception. (Kathryn Spirit on Wikipedia)
Now in 2016, the Ship is deteriorating at a rapid rate and with the pumping operations suspended, an ecological disaster may be just a few weeks away. The 150-metre-long ship contains millions of liters of crude oil, yet Canadian Federal authorities and Quebec Provincial Authorities are dragging their feet. (CBC NEWS ARTICLE)
Fragile ecosystems like the Îles de la Paix National Wildlife Area are located less than 5KM downstream from the Kathryn Spirit. Threatened bird species like the Least Bittern and the Black Tern are known to nest in this area. As we continue downstream a multitude of island harbor wildlife such as Ile aux Herons Migratory Bird Sanctuary. Countless nature parks and wild habitats are also nestled along thousands of kilometres of shoreline. The Iles-de-Boucherville National Park is but one more example of ecosystems that are at risk.
The millions of liters of Crude Oil and Hydrocarbons, if released, would threaten fresh drinking water supplies for millions of Quebec residents, just miles away in the Greater Montreal Region.
YOU CAN HELP!
A simple email to the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport can get things rolling (firstname.lastname@example.org)
CC – We recommend adding in Carbon Copy the following recipients
- Brenda Shanahan, Representative Châteauguay – Lacolle : email@example.com
- Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change : firstname.lastname@example.org
- Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada : email@example.com
SAMPLE EMAIL TEXT:
Honourable Marc Garneau
Federal Minister of Transport
Parliament of Canada
As Canadian Minister of Transport, you are responsible for security, emergencies and the maritime environment.
As such, I ask you to urgently intervene on the Kathryn Spirit ship aground since 2011 in the waters of Lake Saint-Louis in the Beauharnois area.
As INFOSuroît reported in an article posted January 15, 2016 and CBC news on January 18, 2016 (see below), a disaster will occur if your department does not intervene in the shortest possible time-frame.
You have the power and duty to end more than five years of neglect in the hands of the previous government and to prevent the impending disaster.
Thank you in advance for your quick actions in resolving this urgent matter.
(Signature, mailing address and email address)