Scott Simms says the only way to get something done about shipwreck is make lots of noise
Scott Simms is looking to rock the boat over oil leaking from the Manolis L.
The Liberal Member of Parliament for Bonavista-Gander-Grand Falls-Windsor held four public meetings last week on the different islands affected by oil leaking from the sunken paper carrier.
© — Submitted photo
“The testimony was really quite something,” he says.
People told him about finding dead birds, hunting birds that had to be discarded, smelling oil in the bay and even seeing it wash up in the coves.
The vessel has been shipwrecked near Change Islands for 28 years. Last fall and winter, diesel and oil from inside the vessel started to seep out after cracks formed in the hull. The Canadian Coast Guard put a neoprene seal and a cofferdam on the hull of the sunken Manolis L. last summer to stop oil leaking from the vessel. The cofferdam acts as a type of inverted funnel that collects leaking oil from the vessel. One of the repairs didn’t hold and is scheduled to be fixed this month.
Simms wants a longer term solution.
What’s appropriate and what the people want, he says, is getting the oil out of the vessel altogether, not patching leaks so
it stays in until the next leak.
Simms refers to the Brigadier General M. G. Zalinski, a Second World War American ship that sank off British Columbia.
The fuel from that vessel was recently cleaned up after leaking since 1946.
If it’s happening there, it can and should happen here, he says.
And Simms believes the way to raise the oil is to raise the war cry to have it done.
“Right now we have to meet a critical mass of attention,” he says.
Neither Simms nor the people from the area who spoke to him want to wage a multi- year-long movement for action. Get the bureaucratic turbines turning now, Simms says, so they’ll be making waves come the summer when the work can be done.
Simms’ goal is to get the federal minister of environment, Leona Aglukkaq, to spearhead the movement have the oil removed from the Manolis L.
What Simms says needs needs to happen to get that done are public voices demanding the vessel’s cleanup.