OTTAWA, Feb. 20, 2013 /CNW/ - "I can't understand why the Conservative
government is doing everything in its power to put Canadians at risk,"
said Christine Collins, National President of the Union of Canadian
Transportation Employees in response to yesterday's phone call from the
Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) advising of the immediate closure of
Kitsilano Search and Rescue (SAR) Station in Vancouver, BC.
The closure comes as part of a long line of attacks on CCG's ability to
do effective search and rescue. To date, the CCG has closed the Marine
search and rescue station in St. John's, NL which monitored Canada's
longest coastline and now the Search and Rescue Station at Kitsilano,
BC which is the busiest port in Canada. The marine search and rescue
station in Quebec City, Quebec is 50% closed until qualified bilingual
staff can be found and moved to Trenton, ON.
In all instances, public outcry has been tremendous in questioning the
rationale for these Conservative government cuts. "Experts, search and
rescue professionals, various levels of government officials, mariners
from coast to coast to coast and regardless of political or social
beliefs, everyone has come out saying these cuts are dangerous," said
Collins. "I question it over and over again - what is the value of a
life to this government? Canadians will have to pay a high price to
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