OTTAWA, Jan. 9, 2013 /CNW/ - The Canadian Coast Guard's (CCG)
announcement today to replace Search and Rescue personnel with
Auxilliary volunteers is a direct insult to mariners in Vancouver
according to Christine Collins, National President of the Union of
Canadian Transportation Employees.
"With five auxiliary stations in the Greater Vancouver area, one would
think that CCG would want at least one base that would have dedicated,
trained professionals with appropriate resources who can deal with any
eventuality", said Collins. "This decision goes to show you that their
bottom line doesn't consider the value of a human life."
As part of its budget saving measures, the CCG had decided to close the
search and rescue station in Kitsilano, BC. The public outcry and
criticism from various professional stakeholders over the decision has
resulted in this latest move by the government.
The new Auxilliary station will be located in Stanley Park. The issue
of the time required to respond to emergency situations in the
Kitsilano base area, Canada's largest port that is crowded with
recreational and commercial shipping and boating traffic, will not
"This is a shell game," said Collins. "The CCG is trying to create the
illusion that all will be well but experience has taught us you can't
replace skilled professionals with well-intentioned volunteer
recreational boaters. It's like asking a St. John's ambulance
responder to do the job of a paramedic. I'm afraid people will die
before the decision makers realize that this isn't a game."
UCTE will be hosting a rally on January 19, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. at the
Jericho Sailing Centre to oppose federal Conservative government
closure of the Kitsilano base. The public is welcome.
The Union of Canadian Transportation Employees, a component of the
Public Service Alliance of Canada, represents the ships' crew and
search & rescue specialists with the Canadian Coast Guard.
SOURCE: Union of Canadian Transportation Employees
For further information:
Communications & Special Projects Officer, UCTE