January 9th, 2013

Kitsilano closure short-sighted and reckless

Kitsilano Coast Guard base handles over 350 calls for help yearly

New Democrats are dismayed at the Conservatives’ refusal to reconsider their irresponsible decision to close one of Canada’s busiest coast guard stations, putting Canadians’ lives at risk.

“The Conservative government’s attempt to balance the budget at the expense of Canadians’ safety is incredibly short-sighted and reckless,” said NDP Leader Tom Mulcair. “Cutting this essential service at the risk of Canadians’ lives is unacceptable and should never even have been considered. What could be more important than protecting human lives? Stephen Harper's government has no sense of priorities.”

The Kitsilano Coast Guard base, one of the busiest in Canada responds to over 350 calls each year. In response to concerns about increased response times in life-and-death situations, the Conservatives cited a new rescue station which will be staffed by students.

“A volunteer rescue station simply isn’t good enough. Volunteers are great and we salute them, but they can’t replace trained professionals. The Harper Conservatives are shirking their responsibility to keep Canadians safe,” said Fin Donnelly West Coast Fisheries critic (New Westminster – Coquitlam). “The Conservatives made this ill-advised decision with no public consultation and gave no consideration to the impact on British Columbia residents.”