DONNELLY AND SAVOIE CALL ON SENATE TO HOLD PUBLIC MEETINGS IN BC DURING LIGHTHOUSE TOUR

Coquitlam – NDP Fisheries and Oceans critic, Fin Donnelly and Denise Savoie, MP Victoria, sent a letter to the Senate Committee on Fisheries and Oceans, asking that they allow accessible, public meetings during their lighthouse tour in British Columbia.

“I commend the Senate Committee on Fisheries and Oceans for their interest in lighthouses. British Columbians, especially in coastal communities, recognize the importance of lighthouses,” said Donnelly. “They want to express their concerns about the need to keep lighthouses staffed and operating, and to discuss the future role of lighthouses on our coasts. Given the importance of the issue to many British Columbians, I encourage them to open their meetings to the public so that people can have their say.”

The Senate Fisheries and Oceans committee is conducting a tour and fact-finding mission on the future of lighthouses in Canada. They are scheduled to appear in British Columbia from November 16-20. The meetings are by appointment only. There are currently 27 staffed lighthouses operating in BC. Victoria MP Denise Savoie, who spoke out this summer against the federal government’s plan to shut down a thousand lighthouses by stealth and declare them ‘surplus’, said she hopes the Senate committee will engage in fulsome consultations that are more than ‘by invitation only’ with coastal communities affected.

“Will this committee do what Conservative Ministers regularly fail to do? Will it actually listen to people and deliberate openly and transparently? I hope so,” she said, “If the committee does, it will hear from people who rely on their lighthouses for accurate information, people who don’t think Ottawa should shirk its responsibilities here in BC.”