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BOB'S BLOG: Visit Scaterie Island, NS to see a real, live (hazardous) shipwreck

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March 06, 2013 - 505 comments

Photo: The MV Miner has its own Facebook page - look for MVCanadian MinerIt is peculiar how some stories are big news one day and then disappear the next.  Only the story really doesn’t go away it is just not “in the news” anymore.

Take the MV Miner, a former Great Lakes Freighter that ran aground on Scaterie Island off Cape Breton on Sept. 20, 2011.  A tow line broke while it was being hauled to Turkey for scrap.

I got to thinking about the MV Miner, although I must admit I’d forgotten its name, while thumbing through two books I got for Christmas called The 100 Best Great Lake Shipwrecks (Volume 1 and 2).   Authored by Chris Kohl, the word “Best” is a bit jarring, isn’t it?  But this book is aimed at divers and “best,” I guess, refers to how the author rates what you’ll find when you arrive down below on the wreck.

But the MV Miner isn’t down below.  It is still there.  It is in plain view should you go to Scaterie Island.
There was great concern about environmental damage when the MV Miner ran aground. But then the whole matter degenerated into finger-pointing over who should pay for the cleanup.  According to a November CBC News report there were delays getting a salvage plan together, delays when salvage equipment was stolen by thieves and more delays when a stop-work order was issued against the company that was hired to do the salvage.

The government of Nova Scotia boasts that Scaterie Island, one of Nova Scotia's largest, “supports a coastal spruce-fir forest, while the perimeter and a small island consists of exposed coastal bog and barren complexes, cliffs, headlands and beaches” and features “rare plants, diverse fauna, extensive wetland complexes and a wide array of coastal landforms and offers excellent coastal hiking and sea kayaking opportunities.” VISIT THIS WEBSITE. 

On Nov. 28, the Nova Scotia government finally voted to go ahead with the clean up and try to recover costs (estimated at about $25 million) later on.

Meanwhile a former bulk carrier lies jammed up against a provincial wildlife management area, largely forgotten, until that one day when it’ll be news again when the salvage is complete.


Bob Wood is a housing and poverty advocate and former two-term Burlington City Councillor who is building a bed-and-breakfast with his wife on Lake Erie. 


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