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Members of the community of Greater Victoria who treasure our human bond with nature, unique among North American cities.


News release Sept. 23

Save Victoria Harbour: Press conference, September 23rd 2pm Public Release of an important consultants report on the safety of Victoria Harbour.

Victoria Harbour Safety Press Conference

A report by independent aviation safety consultants, QualaTech Aero Consulting, states that Victoria Harbour lacks a Safety Management System and is operating under a ten-year-old Transport Canada risk assessment, with no plans to put an airport safety management system in place until 2014 and no definite date to implement water airport aviation regulations.

The Save Victoria Harbour group is asking the Federal Minister of Transport, Chuck Strahl, to put an updated Safety Management System in place as an urgent priority, and that the mega-yacht marina proposal be assessed against the updated system before being allowed to go ahead.

Full News Release

Report Highlights

Full QualaTech Report (36 pages PDF 500KB)

Victoria Harbour Water Airport (CYWH), certified in 2000, is the busiest water airport in Canada (third in the world) and busier than a significant number of certified Canadian land-based airports [p.18].

Transport Canada:
• owns and operates the Victoria Harbour water airport,
• regulates both the aviation and marine activities in the harbour, and
• manages and polices the harbour through the Harbour Master and the Harbour Patrol, and is responsible for establishing policies, rules, regulations and standards to ensure safe air and marine operations in Victoria Harbour.
Recent Safety Studies
(1999) Transport Canada's "Systems Safety Review (Risk Assessment)" contained a number of flaws and is now obsolete [p. 22].
(2002) “Management Review of Victoria Harbour Navigational Activities” (“The Malatest Report”) also has some shortcomings. Since it is based on the above report, its present validity is questionable [p. 24].
(2010) Transport Canada and Fisheries and Oceans Canada "Environmental Assessment Screening Report" appears in part, to be based un-verified data, including data submitted by the marina proponent in support of its application [pp. 24-26].
Conflicting Regulations and Non-Compliance
• Transport Canada's website describes certification as: A procedure that certifies that an airport complies with the Canadian Aviation Regulations. (Part III, Sub-part 2).
• Canadian Air Regulations (CAR) mandate a Safety Management System (SMS) for all certified airports.
• Transport Canada has repeatedly deferred this requirement for water airports until 2014. By doing so, it has effectively decertified CYWH.
• Had it not done so, both operations at CYWH and the marina application would have been subject to a full safety case study under SMS [pp.18,19].
• It is not clear that certain other requirements of certified airports have ever been met at CYWH.

Supplementary Documents

QualaTech Supplementary Information (43 pages PDF 600KB)

About Qualatech (PDF)

Port of Victoria Traffic Plan (PDF)

Letters between Denise Savoie MP and The Honourable John Baird

Where to from Here - Before further developments of any kind in the vicinity of Victoria Inner Harbour and the Victoria Harbour Water Aerodrome, Transport Canada should undertake a formal safety case on the current marine and air operations in Victoria Harbour for the period 2011-2020 in accordance with Transport Canada's SMS guidelines. Then (completion of the safety case), and only then, should there be any further consideration by Transport Canada of the application for a marina on the north shore of Victoria Harbour. Any existing approvals should be recinded/held in abeyance pending completion of the safety case [p.12].

City Moves to Limit Marina Size

Read the article, by Bill Cleverley
Times Colonist, Jul 16.10

Minister seeks common ground between city, marina developer, by Bill Cleverley and Carla Wilson
Times Colonist, Jul 17.10

Rezoning threatens mega-yacht marina plan, by Carla Wilson
Times Colonist, Jul 15.10

Victoria Council Needs Our Support!

Victoria City Council is doing the right thing by proposing to rezone the Provincial water lot. This move will significantly reduce the size of the proposed marina and, according to City mayor and Council, be more in keeping with the City's vision. Thank you City Council for standing up for what is important to this community!! After telling the City that they could rezone the Province's water lot, Minister Pat Bell has made a surprising public statement that he wants to bring the City and the developer together to negotiate. By appearing to promote the developer's position and attempting to get involved in the City's affairs, the Minister's comments raise a lot of questions about the integrity of the provincial decision-making process on the marina's lease application. Good for you, Mayor Fortin, for stating that rezoning is a public process and not one of negotiating with a developer! We need to send messages of support to Mayor Fortin and his Council. Let them know they are doing the right thing standing up for the public's interest in protecting our harbour and our community vision.

Send an email to Victoria's Mayor and Council today!

Send Forests Minister Pat Bell a message too letting him know what you think about him interfering with the public process.
Hon. Pat Bell
Minister of Forests and Range
PO Box 9049 Stn., Provincial Govt.,
Victoria, BC V8W 9E2
Email: FOR.Minister@gov.bc.ca

MarinaPano Photo Credit: Robert Hewitt

What Vision do you Want for our Harbour?

HarbourCurrent ViewRendering

Speak up now before we lose the harbour we love!

Concerned citizens are strongly opposed to an application by Community Marine Concepts Group to build a private Mega Yacht Marina on the north shore of Victoria's Inner Harbour. We object to the loss of this valued public area now enjoyed by thousands of people, both on water and on shore, for the private benefit of one developer and 50 yacht owners.

Why are we concerned?
  • Loss of public access to this large area of the harbour

  • Impact on quality of life and enjoyment of natural harbour, pathways and views

  • Serious safety issues for all harbour users

  • Environmental impacts

  • No public consultation