OTTAWA, Feb. 3, 2012 /CNW/ - The National President of the Union of Canadian Transportation Employees (UCTE), Christine Collins, is shocked but not surprised by the Canadian Coast Guard's (CCG) announcement on February 1st, 2012 that the closure of the Marine Rescue Sub Centers in St. John's, NL and Quebec City, Quebec will now take effect on April 1, 2012. This is an acceleration of the closures from June 2012.
"I don't understand why the department is determined to put Canadian lives at risk. Since the first announcement we have asked for an independent impartial review of the announced closures. If the department is so confident that lives will not be put at risk, then they should not fear an independent expert review. It is critical that the government show Canadians on the East Coast and Quebec that this action will not compromise the safety of Canadians."
CCG Senior Management advised staff today that the closures were a done deal. St. John's, NL is to transfer services to Halifax, NS April1, 2012 while the transfer of services from Quebec, Quebec will take place in two phases - some services will go to Halifax, 2012 in the fall of 2012 while the remainder will transfer to Trenton, ON in spring 2013.
CCG celebrated its 50th Anniversary last Thursday with cake where members were recognized by the Prime Minister for the critical and valuable work that they do "given the length and ruggedness of our coast and the rough maritime conditions they encounter on any given day."
"Are his Ministers not listening to the Prime Minister? Do they know for sure that lives will not be put at risk with the closure of two of the three Maritime Rescue Sub-Centres? This could all be avoided if they stopped these closures now and conduct an impartial independent review." stated President Collins.
The Union of Canadian Transportation Employees, a component of the PSAC, is the national union representing over 8,000 members including Search and Rescue and Ships' crew personnel at the Canadian Coast Guard
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