VANCOUVER — A plan to sink a former Canadian navy vessel off B.C.’s coast on Sunday and turn it into an artificial reef has been stalled by a Federal Court judge.

The Save Halkett Bay Marine Park Society filed court documents seeking an injunction to stop the sinking of the former HMCS Annapolis in a protected marine park in Howe Sound.

The group has said a paint sample from the 1960s former helicopter-carrying destroyer tested by an independent laboratory found highly toxic compounds.

The group’s lawyer Martin Peters says a judge has issued a temporary stay, meaning the Artificial Reef Society of British Columbia can’t move the ship or sink it on Sunday.

He says lawyers for both sides will return to the court Jan. 27 and argue the injunction.

Peters says the hearing on Monday was not closed to the media but the lawyers didn’t want the media present and the judge left that decision up to them.