POLITICS

Ottawa Spent $1.7M On 'Band-Aid' Efforts To Stop Oil-Leaking Wreck

06/23/2015 02:58 EDT | Updated 06/23/2016 05:59 EDT
ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - Documents released to a Liberal MP say Ottawa has spent $1.7 million over the last two years trying to plug oil leaks in a sunken ship off northeastern Newfoundland.

Scott Simms provided the financial update to The Canadian Press after receiving it from the federal government in response to an order paper question.

It outlines money spent on divers, remote operated vehicles and cofferdams used to trap oil leaking from the Manolis L vessel near Change Islands.

It ran aground on Blow Hard rock in January 1985 with more than 500 tonnes of fuel oil and diesel on board.

Nearby residents have repeatedly raised alarms about slicks on the water and wildlife coated with oil as the coast guard has tried temporary solutions.

Simms says Ottawa needs to stop what he called "Band-Aid" efforts and drain the vessel to avert an environmental disaster if the ship breaks apart.

A federal spokeswoman was not immediately available to comment.

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