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Conservative Cuts to Search and Rescue Endanger Coastal Safety

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Conservative Cuts to Search and Rescue Endanger Coastal Safety

Posted on September 11, 2012

VANCOUVER— The Conservative government’s reckless decision to shutter the Kitsilano Search and Rescue Station compromises the safety of those who live and work in one of Canada’s busiest coastal communities, said Liberal Small Business and Tourism critic Joyce Murray.

“On September 7th, this government announced a $6.2 million investment in a new Coast Guard station and vessel in Ontario and trumpeted its commitment to the Canadian Coast Guard and waterway safety,” said Ms. Murray. “This is cold comfort to those who live and work near Kitsilano whose Coast Guard station is the frontline for safety on the waters of British Columbia’s lower mainland and is set to be shuttered.”

While the government talks of expanding the Coast Guard’s capacity, it is spreading emergency services thin in Canada’s coastal communities, eliminating up to 763 positions and stretching Coast Guard regions from five to three, leaving fewer rescuers to cover more ground when responding to emergencies.

“We support investments in Canada’s search and rescue capacity that ensure our men and women of the Canadian Coast Guard have the resources they need to do their job,” said Ms. Murray. “But investment in one area of the country should never come at the expense of the safety of those in another. I urge the government to reverse their dangerous decision to close the Kitsilano Search and Rescue Station.”

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