For Immediate Release
OTTAWA, ON – The Canadian Coast Guard Kitsilano Search and Rescue base in Vancouver, British Columbia is an essential part of the area’s marine emergency response and must not be closed, said Joyce Murray, Liberal Member of Parliament for Vancouver Quadra.
Today, Liberal MPs Murray and Vancouver Centre MP Hedy Fry wrote to Conservative MPs for North Vancouver, West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country, Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam, and others in the Metro Vancouver Area, asking them to support Ms Murray’s motion M-396, which calls on the government to reverse its plans to shutter the base in 2013.
“The Kitsilano base is one of the busiest in Canada and oversees a marine area considered the most congested in the country,” said Murray. “Closing it will dramatically increase S&R response times in the area—up to double the current standard—and put lives at risk. Keeping this important base open is a non-partisan safety priority.”
“Recently, the rapid response of Kits Coast Guard to a pre-dawn boat collision in English Bay averted a tragedy,” said Vancouver Centre Liberal MP Hedy Fry. “There is no way the Richmond Sea Island base could have done that. Do we have to lose a life before the government pays attention?”
The Coast Guard station at Kitsilano is currently staffed 24 hours a day and responds to over 300 calls each year. Closing the base will mean that rescue response will come from a hovercraft stationed at the Sea Island Coast Guard station in Richmond, which is 17 nautical miles away. Liberal MPs have repeatedly called on the Conservatives to reverse this harmful decision.
The City of Vancouver, the Jericho Sailing Centre, the Vancouver Lifeguard Association, the Union of Canadian Transportation Employees, Vancouver Power and Sail Squadron, and the Lower Mainland Advisory Council are among the many groups adamantly against this change.
“Even Conservative MP James Lunney says the government should rethink closing the Kits Base,” said Murray and Fry. “We invite him and his colleagues to stand with the citizens of Metro Vancouver, support M-396, and help us overturn this reckless closure.”
For more information contact:
Office of Joyce Murray
Office of the Hon. Hedy Fry, MP
M-396 — June 15, 2012 — Ms. Murray (Vancouver Quadra) — That, in the opinion of the House, the government should recognize that the Canadian Coast Guard Kitsilano Search and Rescue base in Vancouver, British Columbia: (a) is one of the busiest in Canada and oversees a marine area considered the most congested in the country; (b) is an essential component of the area’s emergency marine response; (c) is strongly supported by local stakeholders and search and rescue experts who believe that closing the base will significantly increase emergency response times to marine incidents and place lives at risk; and, therefore, should be maintained at its current operational level.