Members of Parliament are currently going through two days of voting by secret ballot to save a bill on derelict vessels.
Nanaimo-Ladysmith NDP MP Sheila Malcolmson won a ruling from Commons Speaker Geoff Regan allowing a secret ballot vote on the fate of her private member’s bill to create a national strategy to deal with abandoned, derelict vessels.
Malcolmson is appealing to the other sitting Members of Parliament to overturn a committee decision that is stalling her bill.
The bill would help to end the practice of simply abandoning boats and ships by making it illegal. It would also empower the government to go after owners found guilty of dumping a derelict vessel.
A Commons committee earlier ruled the bill “non-votable” because it deals with some of the same material included in the newly proposed federal legislation.
Malcolmson says her bill complements the federal bill and should not be sidelined.
She found a 14-year-old, never-before-used rule that allowed her to make the appeal to the Speaker — and his decision means all M-P’s will vote secretly on the committee’s “non-votable” ruling, with debate on the abandoned vessels bill expected on Dec. 6.
With files from The Canadian Press and CBC