POLITICS

Nova Scotia looking for meeting with Ottawa on ship stranded off protected area

11/07/2013 12:20 EST | Updated 01/23/2014 10:53 EST
HALIFAX - Nova Scotia's transportation minister says he hopes to meet with his federal counterpart in the next couple of weeks to discuss the fate of a derelict ship that's been abandoned off Cape Breton for two years.

Geoff MacLellan says his department is working on setting up a meeting with Lisa Raitt in Ottawa.

The MV Miner ran aground during a tow in September 2011 and became stranded off the coast of Scatarie Island, a provincially protected wilderness area.

Former NDP premier Darrell Dexter called on the federal government to remove the ship, but Ottawa refused to take responsibility for the wreck.

A salvage company had agreed to do the work but eventually walked away from the job, citing concerns with bureaucratic hurdles and calling on the province to pay for expenses.

MacLellan says discussions with Ottawa can start fresh now that Nova Scotia has a new government, and he's hopeful the federal government will help share the costs of removing the bulk carrier and get the process started.

"This is something we said we were going to do as a commitment," MacLellan said Thursday. "We don't want to just talk about it and announce it and let it hang around. We want to move this thing forward."