OTTAWA– Liberal critic for Fisheries and Oceans Lawrence MacAulay made the following statement today on the 50th anniversary of the Canadian Coast Guard:
“For half a century, the Canadian Coast Guard has helped ensure the safety of those who go to sea on Canada’s three coasts, and who sail on our Great Lakes waters and St. Lawrence Seaway. The Coast Guard responds to thousands of incidents every year, maintaining a safe navigation system in all our navigable waters, and saving over 1,200 lives a year. Whether it is people involved in the fishery, offshore oil workers or recreational boaters, all Canadians can feel confident and safe on the water knowing that this great Canadian institution is watching out for them.
This important milestone comes at a difficult time as the Harper Conservatives have targeted the Coast Guard for budget cuts and job losses, including the closure of the Canadian Coast Guard Maritime Rescue Sub-Centres in St. John’s and Quebec City. This Conservative government is quick to jump in front of a camera to celebrate our men and women in uniform, but you will not hear them mention the deep and dangerous cuts they are inflicting on the Coast Guard.
From Cape Spear to Haida Gwaii, from Point Pelee to the High Arctic, from the Gulf of St. Lawrence to the Lakehead, the men and women of the Canadian Coast Guard have a proud record of service and sacrifice. We join with all Canadians in celebrating the work of our Coast Guard personnel past and present, and look forward to the next 50 years and more.”