For immediate release
May 18, 2012
Conservatives Endangering Lives in Canada’s Coastal Communities
VANCOUVER — Joyce Murray, Member of Parliament for Vancouver Quadra, made the following statement on the Conservative government’s senseless decision to shutter the Kitsilano Search and Rescue Station.
“The closing of the Canadian Coast Guard Kitsilano Search and Rescue Station will have a significantly detrimental effect on the marine community in the busiest port in Canada,” said Ms. Murray.
“Search and Rescue service to the Port of Metro Vancouver will from now on be provided from the Sea Island S & R station. The government insists that ’[The bases] are located only 17 nautical miles apart,’ revealing their lack of practical and local knowledge of the marine safety services that are required in BC’s Lower Mainland. These cuts will very likely result in the preventable loss of life from marine accidents and emergencies.”
“The Kitsilano Search and Rescue Station is manned 24 hours a day and is able to provide responses within five minutes,” noted Liberal Fisheries and Oceans critic Lawrence MacAulay. “This station is the frontline for safety on the waters of British Columbia’s Lower Mainland and is the focal point for safety for Canada’s busiest marine port. Now this service will be gone, response times will suffer significantly and Canadian lives will be put at risk.”
The closure of Kitsilano Search and Rescue Station comes on the heels of another Search and Rescue Centre closure in St. John’s, Newfoundland, and the announcement that the rescue center in Quebec City will also be shuttered. The Conservative government plans to spread emergency services thin, eliminating up to 763 positions and stretching Coast Guard regions from five to three, leaving fewer rescuers to cover more ground when responding to emergencies.
“What this all amounts to is a Conservative government showing a dangerous disregard for the people of coastal communities, their safety and their way of life,” said Mr. MacAulay. “In announcing plans to gut the Fisheries Act, take quotas away from fishers and possibly eliminate the owner-operator and fleet separation policies, this government is actively marginalizing Canada’s coastal communities.”
Liberal Leader Bob Rae is in British Columbia this weekend to engage with local coastal communities on how these dangerous decisions will impact the way of life for Canada’s busiest commercial port with plans to bring these concerns back to Parliament.
For more information contact:
Office of Joyce Murray