Vancouver Island

BC, Canada


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Monthly Archive September 2018

Saltar anchorage LSD

Saltair anchorage LSD – SANTA VALENTINA Nuisance Complaint

Sent to: Chamber of shipping, MP Malcomlson

I live close to the Stuart Channel , a restricted access body of water with narrow passes in and out in all north , south and east directions  to federal government controlled main shipping channels . Having narrow ingress and egress the Stuart Channel is a very slow changing body of water that recommends itself to recreational use . Fishing has been partially decimated over the past twenty five years , Ladysmith has built and continues to improve its modern sewage treatment and water dispersal plant . The shallow , summer warmed beaches provide swimming , groups of children (especially young ones ) from local schools are marshalled down to the beaches for fun and biological introduction. The waters allow crabbing , shrimping , canoeing , kayaking and sailing ( including U.S.A. vessels visiting the local marinas) . One from Hawaii was seen moored in Chemainus marina during September 2018  .

Saltair district is a rural retreat . We have no sidewalks , no downtown , no street lighting ( except three lamps at the Davis Lagoon curved bridge ) and are part of the Canada Trail , thus ensuring a lasting non Industrial- commercial environment that is our home .

As of the last few years we have sustained a steadily increasing volume of anchoring, large ocean going freighters that have flood lights operating permanently during the naturally dark hours ( longer hours as the year becomes winter ) disturbing not only the fauna but in some instances even the flora . Were you aware that certain plants only flower during the lengthening night time hours ? Difficult for plants to flower and set seed when the night is similar to day ,sometimes weeks at a time .

Noise from  running generating motors to power the necessary operations on board ship is loud and constant . By constant I mean twenty four hours a day , seven days a week . They run when the vessels arrive to find anchorage , run permanently while at anchor and still run as they weigh and leave the residents at a loss to fight this gross intrusion of our backwater . It’s a vital loss but no benefit at all for this quiet area . The benefit is for for profit of the curiously registered vessels and the port authority that authorized their permission , but to the detriment of the residents .  Better planning on arrivals to the loading facilities would be a start . Please ensure the coming season has no more unwelcome visitors to our life style .

[Saltair Resident]


Answer received from Chamber of Shipping President:

Hello [..],

Thank you for the note and the description of your beautiful surroundings. I have personally visited all of the locations where ships anchor in the Southern Gulf Islands in both the day-time and at night. While it might not appear like it sometimes, there are a number of people working quite hard to improve the current situation and develop a management strategy for the longer-term. It does not make much business sense  to anchor ships awaiting loading or unloading so far from their terminals so there are a number of reasons to strive for change.

I am hopeful that the Government of Canada’s National Anchorage Review can be aligned with the Ports Modernization Review, as much of this challenge is directly related to efficiency and productivity of the supply chain. I appreciate that your local MP is very knowledgeable of the situation and anything that MP Malcomson might do to encourage this approach would be most appreciated.

Best regards,


Robert Lewis-Manning, OMM, CD, MBA  |  President  | Chamber of Shipping
t: 604.681.2351 |  f : 604.681.4364  |  | |@COSBCtweets




498m from our shore – more noise from freighter SANTA VALENTINA

to vija.poruks, Kevin, Yvette, Alain, Louise, Jeff
Hello again,
I am writing today to share with you a video I took yesterday afternoon. For over 30 minutes around 4:30pm there was the sound of cheers and yells and raised voices, from both men and women, reverberating throughout our neighbourhood. It sounded like crowd watching a soccer match and it took me a few minutes to figure out it was coming from the freighter. I stood on my deck in awe of the sound and watched other neighbours come out of their homes to scratch their heads and look around in bewilderment until they turned and also stared at the freighter. It was shocking. My video does not do justice to the sound, but it does illustrate just how close the freighter is anchored to Saltair and just how much noise transfers up into our homes.
What was going on on that freighter yesterday afternoon? Was it the crew kicking back and enjoying themselves? Are there that many women on board? Maybe? I honestly don’t know, but I’m curious of my new neighbour, as I would be of any neighbour who was suddenly yelling and cheering and hosting what sounded like a loud and raucous party.
Once again I am hoping that the people working on this issue will acknowledge that Saltair is not the place to park a freighter. This anchorage is too close to shore. It brings freighters and residents into too close proximity. This is a mix that will never work.
[Saltair resident]


distance measured with a golf range finder 498m

port shipping agency

Ship agents are told the Interim Protocol is mandatory

Hello B.,

Thank you for your answer.

I found you were the ship agent for the Santa Valentina on the Internet. If it not the case, my sincere apologies to have bothered you with my messages. But I would like to let you know what residents of Saltair are enduring when a ship is sent to anchor in a rural residential area.

If you know the ship agent of this vessel, I would appreciate if you can give me his contact info so I can also pass my feedback to them.

We have already sent many complaints to,,,,,,

Based on your message, it looks like the ship agents have been misinformed by Vancouver Fraser Port Authority (VFPA). The Interim Protocol is a voluntary program, not a mandatory program. You could say no we do not want to go so far in the Gulf Islands and be a nuisance to rural residential area and contributing to the destruction of wildlife and the environment. See official info here:

Also, VPA mentioned that they had consulted the communities, it is wrong, Saltair community was not consulted. Even worse, they have re-activated historical anchorages without any environmental studies nor sociological studies.

We have sent already 2 petitions to the Parliament of Canada, many more are on their way.

Our group has reached other ship agents. One of them already expressed he is sorry for the nuisance to a rural residential area and be a nuisance for the residents. They even sent their apologies to Saltair Residents.

If your company has a heart and not only a wallet, please help the coastal communities, wildlife, and the environment. Please ask not to be sent in the anchorages known as Ladysmith C (LSC), Ladysmith D (LSD) and Ladysmith F (LSF). These anchorages are NOT located in Ladysmith but in Saltair a rural residential area.

Please contact other ship agents and the chamber of shipping and join us to ask VFPA to develop an innovative and modern program called Just-in-time berthing like there are doing in developed countries. The Interim Protocol is a bad project, and it is spreading pollution, destroying the environment and contributing to jeopardize endangered species survival, it should be stopped immediately.

The Santa Valentina is anchored so close to our shore and our public beach accessed, we can see the guys on the deck without binocular.  See photo below

Furthermore, the noise of the Santa Valentina is up to 78.5 DB way above the local CVRD residential noise bylaws.

Would you and your family sleep/live with a 200-meter truck idling 24/7 and full light at night in your backyard?

Many residents are deprived of sleep because of this vessel.

It is even worse when a ship arrives and anchors at night. All the village is awaken, not only the coastal residents.

The anchor of the Santa Valentina and all vessels are scraping the seabed, destroying prawn and crab habitat.

Also she is too close to the shore. See photo taken with my iPhone with no zoom this morning.


Thank you for your time and I hope you will be able to help us.


[Saltair resident]




September 20, 2018


Apologies for my lack of clarity. By way of explanation any issues with anchorage assignments / vessel locations must be dealt with through Port Metro Vancouver Harbour Masters office. We , as agents, do NOT have any control over anchorage assignments.

It is a protocol that has been developed by the Port  in conjunction with Pacific Pilotage and we have to follow their instructions with respect to where vessels are to anchor.


In addition please note that this particular is not one of the vessels being handled by our agency.


Kind Regards



 Wheelhouse Shipping Agency Ltd.

little grand daughter has awoken in night terrors

To all addressed:

The Santa Valentia has anchored directly in front of our residence in Saltair, B.C. We quite frankly are tired of being awoken by chains being dropped and or retracted, generator noise day and night, and
lights shining in our windows so bright that it looks like daylight all night long. Our little grand daughter has awoken in night terrors due to the anchor noises when they arrive at night. She has a hard time getting back to sleep
because she thinks its daytime due to the bright lights.

We have been residents of Saltair for 20 years and would not have moved here if we thought we were going to be living in an industrial area. When we first moved here, we never saw any freighters but lately there seems to be
an unending stream of them coming and going. If I look at my marine charts there is not even a designated anchorage shown in front of my house, the closest one being Boulder Point and I don’t think it was designated for the
size of ships using it now. When was the anchorage in front of my house designated? Why wasn’t there a consultation process with land owners affected? Why wasn’t there an environmental study done?

The ships continually spin around on anchor, decimating any and all sea life on the bottom in this area. Our crabbing has gone down to next to nothing and we are not seeing the wild life that we are used to.
You seem to be dumping all these freighters in the Gulf Islands but I never see any in Howe Sound which would be closer to Vancouver Harbour. Why is that? Is the Port so mismanaged that scheduling and On Time Delivery
is not even considered?

Something has to be done, anchoring ships 500 meters off of a densely populated residential area is such a bad idea on many fronts. Surely there are other solutions which would have less of an impact on residents, sea life, and
wild life. How would you react if someone put a noisy brightly lit industrial park right next to your house. You would most likely not be happy. That’s where we are now—- EXTREMELY NOT HAPPY!!!!!

[Saltair residents]


Hi Vija,


THANK YOU again for ruining my weekend with noise , pollution, obstructing views, destroying the sea bed of Saltair coastal water.
I hope that one day a court of justice will condemn the Interim protocol and the people behind this craziness. I hope a judge will find you guilty of the pollution, destruction of the environment, destruction of endangered wildlife, destruction of the seabed and repair the harm that has been done to the environment, wildlife and people.
This is the noise level I wake up with this morning. Would you like to wake up in a such environment?  See photo attached
freighter sound levelThis level of noise is NOT acceptable close to 80 dB when the aft of the vessel is presenting itself to our front door. It is  NOT compliant with CVRD local bylaws for residential rural areas.
This morning the SANTA VALENTINA discharged A LIQUID for more than one hour. The group of Saltair have photos and video:
Please investigate this discharged.
Please do environmental studies on impact of anchor on the seabed.
Stop immediately the Interim Protocole and work on a NEW program called JUST IN TIME BERTHING.
Stop to use demurrage fees contract.
Send ships in port where they belong NOT in residential rural area.
freighter in saltair

complaint regarding the anchoring of yet another freighter in Saltair

to Vija, Pacific, Jeff, Yvette, Louise, Alain, harbour_master, robert, bonnie, Kevin, me, chamber

Good morning all,
I am writing once again to register my complaint regarding the anchoring of yet another freighter in Saltair. This freighter arrived two days ago and has been droning on night and day since. I have been working in my yard and the constant noise is very irritating. Even with our windows now closed we can clearly hear it all night. I can only imagine the impact on the wildlife who make their home along the shore and underwater, as they have no escape.
As I have expressed now numerous times, this situation is untenable. The coastal waters of Saltair are not an appropriate place to park freighters. This is not an industrial area. The impact on our neighborhood and the wildlife along our coast is unjust.
A strategy to actually deal with the issue of long term freighter anchoring is required. Stop gap measures such as the Interim Protocol are wasted efforts that do nothing but cause more problems.
I do believe there are good people working on this issue. I challenge each of you to adjust course and set sights on a better plan.
Yours truly,
[Saltair Resident]

freighter interim protocol gulf island

freighter SANTA VALENTINA is parked in Saltair quiet residential rural area where she does NOT belong

to vija.poruks, alain.paquet, yvette.myers, harbour_master, robert, bonnie, oberkev, me, TC.PacificAnchorages-Ancragesdupacifique.TC, jeff.pelton

Hello Vija,

I want to share your my point of view about the Interim Protocol.

If I were rich and powerful, I would

-1: hire a private investigator to find your personal addresses
-2:  hire 4 semis and truck drivers for each of person that will receive this email
-3:  Park these semis  in front of your home
-4:  Ask the truck drivers to idle their engine 24/7
-5:  Ask the truck drivers to light them up at night
-6:  hire a bobcat guy to scrap your backyard and garden

I am not this person.

So I cannot make you live what I am experiencing right now when you send freighters anchored to close to the shore in residential rural area with your Interim Protocol.

Also I have contacted the ship agent of the SANTA VALENTINA, It looks like your Services and Vancouver Port are lying to them by saying this is a mandatory program, and you tell them they have to comply to send freighters anchoring in coastal water close by residences.

Based on your website it is NOT, it is a voluntary program. This is the second time a ship agent mentioned they have the obligation to follow orders and come and park their vessels here in Saltair. G2 Ocean also said also this same information to members of our advocacy group.

Stop the Interim Protocol immediately! Stop sending vessels in a quiet residential rural area where they do NOT belong.

Start working immediately on developing a program of just in time berthing like modern countries are doing. When has Canada became a third world country? Why Canada is not a leader to fight pollution?

Your Interim Protocol is making Canada trailing behind we are now back in the 50ies when all polluters was spreading the pollution all over the place instead of dealing with, eliminating the cause and limiting the exposure and devastation to our environment, wildlife, and residents.

[Saltair Resident]

freighter parked in front

Saltair B&B suffers industrial nuisance noise and light – obstructed views – loss of quietness and rural character

to Vija, Pacific, Jeff, Yvette, Louise, Alain, harbour_master, robert, bonnie, Kevin, me, chamber, elizabeth.may, sheila, Alistair.MacGregor, Ladysmith, dobee, bmackenzie, localnews, Marina, info, tips, gsjuberg, editor, islandnews

One more freighter parked in Saltair, right across my B&B.

Thank you Transport Canada for transforming our area in an industrial zone! Surely tourists will appreciate the gesture.

What is it we need to do now? Well sounds like the time has come to do a delegation at CVRD and ask for rezoning. We have the noise, light, and signage nuisance. It is not compatible for a residential and tourist coastal area and the level of taxes we are paying. We are going to make sure to alert to alert CVRD of what is happening.

The SANTA VALENTINA is 199m parked about 600m from shore. Its anchor is damaging our seabeds on an area of 3 football fields.

Since the invasion of freighters has resumed on August 8, our marine life has hardly come back. Not seen the baby sea otters and our resident blue herons and babies. Blue herons are endangered species but the INTERIM PROTOCOL does not care, they are only counting vessels, not blue herons.

Statistics show an increase of 600% for Saltair with an the average of 23 days per month having a cargo ship idling here.

I am inviting the Chemainus chamber of commerce to visit my B&B. They have to see what is happening here. The victimization of a coastal rural community and at the same time record profits for Port of Vancouver. We pay the socio-economic cost and industries got the benefits. What a shame.


[Saltair resident]

interim protocol

their response is not only defensive, it is contestant

Excerpt answer Vija Poruks – Sept 5- 2018
“As you are aware, since the full national review will take some time to complete, our region implemented a set of temporary and voluntary interim procedures for the south coast to distribute the use more evenly among the 33 anchoring locations, so that to the extent possible, no one community is overwhelmed with the constant presence of freighters in the nearshore anchorages … as was the case in the past before the interim protocol. And, we are also beginning to address some of the concerns about light and noise from ships at anchor by asking vessels to comply with voluntary procedures. A large proportion of ships are adhering to the protocol guidelines, and this is also a positive change from past practice.
[…] In the meantime, and to be as equitable as possible to all coastal communities while the reviews are underway, our Department is not making any permanent changes.”
Vija Poruks, OPP Project Manager
Transport Canada, Pacific Region/Government of Canada

resident reaction:

Again it seems that all the authority has done is to tell us to piss off.
In fact their response is not only defensive, it is contestant.
What we have been told, when one reads between the lines, is to expect more of the same..
Their view is that the anchorages in this specific are under utilized and their examination has indicated that many more anchorage days can be added if we don’t shut up.

Their response needs to be made public, the names of all in charge or involved be made known publicly.

Their is a minister and secretary in charge at the highest federal level..

And it is in that direction the media will aim.. if they don’t get to troll for a trophy fish.. they won’t be interested in setting the hook. It is time to package a file that can be distributed and shared, both on posts and in the comments of as many political social media sites and pages as possible.

Ask for the help to do so on Eco pages, political pages, Save the whales pages, and also the page of the companies that own the ships detailing the down time and expenses incurred because the Canadian Ministry charge of transport has made a made a mess and apparently does not have the skills and ability to clean it up.

Time to point fingers at all the rotting fish the ministry seems to be full of.

[resident email]

freighter in the smoke


Dear Ms Poruks

Thank you for your email.

Before I delve into the issues discussed, I wanted to share a dream I had last night about an email you could have sent me before the long weekend, it was saying:

“We are very sorry that despite our best efforts, the Ports anchorages have become full. There are three large freighters that we had to send in your coastal waters to anchor. One will only be here a couple of days, the other a few days, and the 3rd one will have a long wait of possibly a couple of weeks. We would like to assure you that we do everything possible and we work in close collaboration with ship agents and ports authorities to make sure this does not happen again. We have put in place new technologies that allow us to track in real time where ships and loads are located. Due to unforeseen circumstances, the rendezvous for these ships were missed and had to be rescheduled. We know this Labor Day long weekend is the last of the summer, and an important time for your community to enjoy your beaches and marine recreational activities. We sincerely apologize and ask for your understanding and cooperation as we make progress toward reaching our goals of achieving just-in time berthing and reducing the need to have any freighters sent to park in an outside-of-Port anchorage. Your truly”

Unfortunately, my dream was far from the reality. Several other residents and I had to write emails to you to inquire about the invasion of 3 freighters in our coastal waters for this long weekend. The media were alerted. CHEK NEWS TV featured our group. We received lots of community attention and support. We hope that our TV segment has reached your office and will give you a better sense of the crisis created by the Interim Protocol in our small rural coastal village. You can see it here:

That’s said, when I received your answer, I felt very much shocked and disappointed with the lack of depth and accuracy of your email. It was more like a nightmare and quite far from my dream.

Please see my comments on the following 5 points:


I am not aware that the Interim Protocol (IP) has performed any actual measurement of the quantity of light in lumens received on shore, in our streets, in our parks, and in people’s households. I exchanged a few emails with Jeff, but I could not get any clear answer as how many lights the STAR GRAN – that was parked in the middle of the tourist season for ten days right across my B&B – should have displayed at anchor. I was aware of other residents who have tackled this issue at the beginning of the IP, gave several phone calls, and finally obtained occasionally that a couple of lights be re-oriented or turned off; However, this hard work would not prevent that the lights would come back a few days later or start again with the next vessel. Some people that I know gave up trying to get any improvement on the bright lights illuminating our shores and joined their voices to our group.


Why is the Interim protocol not doing any decibel measurements? Many of these vessels emit sounds in our residential area that are not compliant with our local bylaws for noise. However, the Interim Protocol has not acknowledged these violations. Vancouver Port has a network of surveillance with an online app to monitor noise; we have nothing of that sort. I am aware of residents who have looked in this issue, performed decibels measurements by using an app on their phones, but they have not received any specific answer from the Interim Protocol. What is the threshold of decibels these vessels should comply with? As far as I know, all the Interim Protocol has done is deflecting the issue and not providing any actual number that could be measured and complied with.


Among the affected people who have endured the sleepless nights and constant nuisance, there is no resident, that I know of, who has sent a letter to the Interim protocol to acknowledge any actual progress on such matter as the sound and noise nuisance.

Nonetheless, the Interim Protocol continues to claim that progress has been made despite there is no evidence of such development. This claim appears fictitious and unsubstantiated. Where is the evidence of actual progress? Where are the measurements to attest to this? Where are the testimonials of happy residents?


We hear a lot about the Interim protocol being useful for data collection. Now I was curious, what data is collected precisely and how is it useful? Here is an inventory I have attempted to clarify this aspect:

• Sound and light nuisance are not measured, therefore not collected.

• Complaints from residents are somewhat counted and collected. Summaries are incomplete. Most feedback is left out and none was used for any purpose so far.

• Discharges from vessels are not seen. A discharge in our area was caught on camera. There were two versions of the alleged content: one from the ship agent, one for the IP staff and they were different. The discharge was not sampled and not analyzed.

• The Interim Protocol collects data to inform the number of rotations of a fair weather plane over our area and if pollution visible by this plane has been seen. Other pollution invisible to the plane are left out resulting in a false sense of safety.

Let’s examine one more exciting area of data collection: The AIS data emitted by a vessel’s transceiver. Marine Traffic and Vessel Finders have developed new online app displaying interactive maps showing the location of all ships around the world.

It would be easy to assume the Interim Protocol is collecting AIS data and therefore would be able to produce:

– Heat maps showing the traffic of freighters close to the habitats of the endangered Killer Whales and the Blue Herons nesting areas. These maps would be so useful to make sure all mitigation is done to prevent further nuisance.

– Mapping of seabed areas impacted by anchors and chain scouring. This would be so useful as a starting point to study the cumulative effect and cost to our ecosystem.

Sadly, the IP had no mandate and expressed no interest to produce maps that would allow visualizing some of the impacts on our area. Furthermore, as we approach the 7th month of the start of the Interim protocol, it appears the IP has not been collecting and analyzing AIS data.

Instead, IP staff seems to be waiting for the quarterly reports from Pacific Pilotage Authority (PPA) providing BC pilots’ assignments. It appears that IP staff is using such PPA data to calculate days at anchor for each vessel and then do a few color charts and send them to the stakeholders. I think this is the kind of data analysis process that a high school student could manage.

Indeed, BC pilots’ movements are well known and have been tracked for almost a decade. Data collected by PPA is publicly available and can be requested in Excel format.

I wonder if the IP staff has the software capability to retrieve current and historical AIS data. Or if there are any, their results have not been shared as promised. All I can see is the IP is falling short one more time trailing behind: not using big data analysis and not leveraging current and historical AIS data.

As per my understanding, when the BC Chamber of Shipping and the Island Trust requested that the Interim Protocol to be extended, they argued about the benefit of extending the data collection period. I wonder what they referring to? Based on my analysis, I can not see much interest in the current data collection performed by the IP.


In your email, you state that you estimate that 2018 has not been worse than 2017 in the Gulf Islands and that my assertion that the situation has worsened is incorrect. I am surprised and intrigued how you came to that conclusion.

Other groups have shared statistics that have led me to this assertion. If you have in your possession historical statistical data, it would be beneficial to the process that these are shared with me and the other groups.

On my side, in the absence of a reliable statistical data set provide by IP, I am in the process of performing statistical analysis using reliable sources and will come back to you with results as soon as they are available.

Finally, there are other interpretations in your email that I disagree with but I have not had time to address yet or have been already addressed in our committee’s letter to the minister of transport. Just in case this document was not provided to you, see it attached.

In conclusion, let’s not forget the big picture. The Interim Protocol takes a grandstand to say it is working to “reduce the impacts of large vessels at anchor outside port authorities in southern British Columbia,” however all it is doing is to continue to send freighters polluting the Gulf Islands, and, in more areas than before. The IP is not delivering the benefits it has advertised.

The efforts of Transport Canada should instead be directed at improving the effectiveness of Ports Authorities and the Canadian supply chain to achieve just-in-time berthing and stop having all these freighters waiting and idling in our coastal waters, generating pollution, and economic waste.

In my opinion, there is no reason to continue something that does not work. Better to save the money and start a new project involving Port Authorities, Ship Agents and supply chain agents to strive to achieve just-in-time berthing. Then the efforts will be rewarded.

Successful projects do the right things right by leveraging new technologies and modernizing processes. Based on my analysis, I believe that the Interim Protocol fails to achieve any objectives and is one of them.

Yours truly,
Saltair Advocate In Chief