Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Sad day for Vancouver

Today I had been hopeful that the letters I and others have written to Stephen Harper would have some effect.  I was surprised to see this notice:

P-0216(2013) CANADIAN COAST GUARD KITSILANO Activated:1419 19 Feb 2013 Effective 1300PST February 19 2013 Search and Rescue services from Kitsilano Canadian Coast Guard Station have been discontinued. The Canadian Coast Guard and its search and rescue partners will continue to provide mariners in the Vancouver Area with a full suite of search and rescue services. Mariners in need of assistance should continue to contact the Coast Guard through VHF channel 16 or through the Joint Rescue Centre Victoria at 1-800-567-5111 or 250-413-8933
Seven lines of text closes a Canadian Coast Guard station after fifty continuous years of operation.   No fan fare, no big end celebration of all that has been achieved, just seven lines of rather dry text.   We must hold the government accountable for this.  Lives will be lost.  Environmental issues will be left unchecked.  Our National and regional security just got weaker and once again, for what?

Mr. Harper, if you are listening, Vancouver is a year round boating city.  There will be lives lost from this and I urge you to reconsider.  While it may look good on a spreadsheet, this is one of the busiest waterways in Canada.  We have oil tankers running in and out of some of the narrowest passages in the country.  In fact, look the the Coast Guard's compiled traffic heat map.

Please re-open the Coast Guard now.  The heaviest traffic is exactly where the Coast Guard station is.

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