Canadian vessels now at notorious Indian shipbreaking yard
A federal politician is angry that two former Marine Atlantic ferries are being dismantled at a notorious shipbreaking facility in
— even though the vessels were sold on the condition they would be scrapped in
an environmentally and socially responsible way. India
The Joseph and Clara Smallwood and The Caribou ferries sailed between
Newfoundland and for more
than 20 years. Both boats are now in Nova Scotia , at one
of most infamous shipbreaking facilities in the world. Alang,
Groups that monitor shipbreaking say deaths and other horrific workplace accidents are common in Alang. They also said environmental protection is not a consideration there.
The federal NDP's environment critic said it's an outrage.
"We shouldn't be sending our problems overseas. It's morally and ethically reprehensible," said Halifax MP Megan Leslie.
Marine Atlantic sold the ferries to two separate companies, which then sold them to a company in
That company beached them in Alang in late October.
When Marine Atlantic sold the vessels, it tried to prevent this from happening — but it happened anyway.
told CBC News that a condition of sale included a commitment that if a buyer
decide to recycle the vessels, it would be done at a yard with green recycling
Breach of sale terms:
Leslie said what has happened is unacceptable.
"It is clearly a breach of that term of sale. I mean we're talking about kids in
breaking down that vessel
with absolutely no regard to the environmental impact on the surrounding area.
It's on a beach for crying out loud." India
According the United Nations Human Rights Council, 209 workers were killed in accidents in Alang between 1996 and 2003.
A shipbreakers watchdog group in
told CBC News Tuesday that at least 27 workers have been killed this year in
Alang. New Delhi, India
works with the group Toxics Watch Alliance, said the risks to workers have
grown at Indian shipbreaking facilities since the UN's last visit, and that
"there is no rule of law in Alang."
the federal minister of transportation wouldn't comment on the issue. Ottawa
"I think you should talk to Marine Atlantic, that's an operational issue," Federal Transportation Minister Steven Fletcher told CBC News.
According to Toxics Watch Alliance, workers have already started dismantling the ferries.
Source: CBC. 1 November 2011http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/story/2011/11/01/nl-shipbreaking-ferries-111.html