CONSERVATIVE CUTS TO MARINE COMMUNICATIONS CENTRES PUTS LIVES AT RISK

OTTAWA  – NDP Fisheries and Oceans deputy critic Fin Donnelly (New Westminster – Coquitlam & Port Moody) is calling on the Conservative government to stop the planned closure of three Marine Communication and Traffic Service (MCTS) centres along BC’s coast.

“While marine traffic is increasing, the Conservatives continue to cut the response systems that are there to protect mariners,” said Donnelly. “Without a local centre to receive and respond to emergencies, situations like the rescue of four mariners off the coast of Vancouver Island last week could have had dramatically different results.” 

Of the five existing MCTS centres in British Columbia, the Conservatives are slated to close those in Ucluelet, Vancouver and Comox. These closures will leave the Victoria and Prince Rupert centres responsible for the entire coast of British Columbia.

“First they closed the Kitsilano Coast Guard base, and now they’re dismantling MCTS centres,” continued Donnelly. “Coastal British Columbians deserve better. The Conservatives should keep these centres open and ensure mariners have access to lifesaving operations and responses to environmental emergencies like oil spills and accidents.”

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