PRINCE RUPERT. BC, Aug. 18, 2015 /CNW/ - The Marine Traffic and
Communication Services (MTCS) centre in Prince Rupert experienced
another outage last night. The affected area included the entire west
coast of Vancouver Island—the area once monitored by MTCS base in
Ucluelet closed by the Harper Conservatives in April this year.
"The Harper government's cuts have reduced the effectiveness of our
coast guard," said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor's BC Area Director. "When
our coast guard is compromised, the safety of Canadians is at risk."
Between approximately 12:50 a.m. and 3:45 a.m., the system for
regulating shipping movements and detecting distress calls was
"Keeping Canadians safe on our coastal waters is simply not a priority
for the Conservative government," said McGarrigle.
The Harper government's cuts to the marine safety network have impacted
services on both coasts. Six bases have been closed so far this year in
Saint John, St. John's, Ucluelet, Thunder Bay, Rivière au Renard, and
Vancouver. Two more monitoring stations are scheduled to close: St.
Anthony in 2015 and Comox in 2016.
The MTCS base in Victoria experienced major outages on May 18 and June
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 represents coast guard communication officers at MTCS bases
across the country. 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