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Petition to Eliminate Freighter Anchorages

Updated: Jan 28, 2021

This petition closes for signature on November 14, 2020

The waters around the Southern Gulf Islands are being used as a free anchorage for freighters waiting to enter the Port of Vancouver.

Local residents are suffering from noise and light pollution, as well as generator exhaust and dust from maintenance work on nearby freighters. Freighters have also been seen offloading cargo to barges, something that should be done in port. Anchorages also threaten the sensitive ecosystem of the Salish Sea and disrupt the habitat of endangered species, including the southern resident killer whale. A fuel spill would be disastrous for our coastal communities.

The 33 “temporary” anchorages established under the Interim Protocol need to be removed. The demand for freighter parking should be reduced by fixing inefficiencies at the Port of Vancouver and halting shipments of thermal coal from the US. West coast American ports have refused thermal coal exports and so should Canada.

I will continue to work in cooperation with parliamentarians from other impacted communities and with other levels of government, to see resolution on this issue.

Please sign and share this petition put forward by local residents to show your support.



  • In February 2018, Transport Canada introduced an Interim Protocol, as part of the National Anchorages Review. This protocol has resulted in a 400% increase in coal and grain freighters parking in the Southern Gulf Islands;

  • The protocol was supposed to last six months. More than two years later, the Interim Protocol is still in effect;

  • No parking fees are collected, minimal safety oversight is provided and no local jobs are created;

  • The parked freighters cause environmental damage to the sensitive Salish Sea ecosystem;

  • These environmental damages include: ocean floor damage from dragging anchors, disrupting the habitats of endangered orcas and other wildlife, air pollution from diesel generators, as well as noise, light and dust pollution;

  • In March 2020, a collision between two freighters in Plumper Sound highlighted the threat posed by the freighter parking and the potential for environmentally devastating fuel spill in the Southern Gulf Island region; and

  • Local First Nations governments and community members, area residents and community groups are all calling for the removal of the commercial anchorages from the Southern Gulf Islands.

We, the undersigned, citizens and residents of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to: 1. Eliminate the 33 commercial anchorages throughout the Southern Gulf Islands; 2. Improve the grain supply chain and terminal infrastructure, and evaluate the transport of U.S. thermal coal through the Port of Vancouver; and 3. Implement efficient international shipping standards such as the ‘Just-in-Time-Arrival’ computer system to better facilitate trade and the Canadian economy.


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