VICTORIA, June 23, 2015 /CNW/ - The Marine Traffic and Communication
Services (MTCS) centre in Victoria has experienced an outage that
affected its ability to regulate shipping movements and answer distress
calls. The affected area includes Vancouver, Howe Sound, and the Strait
The Victoria base is now responsible for much of the inside passage's
radio traffic after the Vancouver communication base was closed by the
Harper government on May 6, 2015.
"The Harper government's cuts to the coast guard are compromising marine
safety," said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor's BC Area Director. "Vital
public services that protect people and wildlife on our coast are being
eroded by a short-sighted government that doesn't listen to coast guard
During the outage, the coast guard officials were asking mariners to
contact the Comox MTCS base (slated for closure in 2016) or the US
"Stephen Harper has taken us to a pretty sad place when an emergency in
Canadian waters requires an American response," said McGarrigle.
The Harper government's cuts to the marine safety network have impacted
services on both coasts. Four bases have been closed so far this year
in Saint John, St. John's, Ucluelet, and Vancouver. Four more
monitoring stations are scheduled to close in 2015 in Thunder Bay,
Rivière au Renard, St. Anthony, and Comox in 2016.
The Victoria MTCS base also experienced a major outage on May 18.
Restoring funding to the coast guard would cost $5.5 million per year,
or 0.25% of the cost to the government of the income-splitting program
introduced in 2015.
Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing
more than 305,000 workers. It was formed Labour Day weekend 2013 when
the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and
Paperworkers unions merged.
For further information:
please contact Unifor Communications Representative Ian Boyko at 778-903-6549 (cell) or Ian.Boyko@Unifor.org