Closure of Kits Coast Guard Shows Conservatives Out of Touch with BC

VANCOUVER – New Democrats are criticizing today’s sudden closure of the Kitsilano Coast Guard Station, one of the busiest stations in Canada, saying that the move puts lives at risk.

"What could be more important in the role of government than the protection of human lives," asked NDP Leader Tom Mulcair. “The Conservative government's decision to cut an essential service that saves lives demonstrates their reckless arrogance."

The announcement that the base would be closing immediately was quietly revealed on Tuesday afternoon. The Kitsilano Coast Guard base, one of the busiest in Canada, responds to over 350 calls each year. Estimates suggest that closing the base will double the emergency response time in one of Canada’s most high-traffic ports.

“Closing this base is a dangerous decision. The City of Vancouver knows it, the fire and police departments know it, and the men and women who work hard to save lives at the coast guard know it,” said Fin Donnelly, West Coast Fisheries Critic (New Westminster–Coquitlam). “It’s unacceptable that this Conservative government refuses to listen to British Columbians and public safety experts.”