NEWS
01/31/2016 06:00 EST | Updated 01/31/2017 00:12 EST

Concerns over rusting cargo ship stuck on shore of southwestern Quebec town

BEAUHARNOIS, Que. — Federal officials are meeting with representatives of a Quebec town on Monday to discuss an abandoned cargo ship that some fear poses an environmental risk.

The Kathryn Spirit was brought to Beauharnois in 2011 by a private firm hoping to dismantle the bulk carrier in the St. Lawrence River and sell it for scrap.

That project didn't materialize and it was sold to Mexican interests who've since declared bankruptcy and abandoned it about 60 kilometres southwest of Montreal.

The federal government says pollutants were removed from the ship in 2013 and that it  currently poses no environmental risk.  

But Beauharnois Mayor Claude Haineault says his town has never been given a detailed account of the ship's contents and is concerned about an environmental catastrophe if something isn't done, now that no one is maintaining the vessel.

The Liberal government says it wants to come up with a plan to deal with the Kathryn Spirit, while the NDP argues that safely removing and scrapping the ship is an urgent matter.

The Canadian Press