Jericho Sailing Club slams Harper's closure of Kits Point Coast Guard Station

CKNW: Jericho Sailing Club slams Harper’s closure of Kits Point Coast Guard Station

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Jericho Sailing Club slams Harper's closure of Kits Point Coast Guard Station

Read this story from CKNW on the reaction to the Harper Government’s decision to close Kits Point Light Station without public consultation. (May 22, 2012)

The General Manager of the Jericho Sailing Centre says closing the Kits Point Coast Guard station impacts the safety of all marine recreational users.

Mike Cotter says with 250,000 boat launches a year they have their own volunteer rescue team who could now see their number of emergency call outs double.

Cotter says there was certainly no consulation before closing the coast guard station despite comments from Heritage Minister James Moore.

“I am baffled when I see the Ministers comments that this had broad public consulation before hand, it certainly didn’t. Our facility is putting more individuals out on the water for recreation than any other facility in the Vancouver area and this is the first time we have heard of it.”

He says it is disappointing to see a decision like this made in Ottawa by people who have no idea what local needs are.

“I would like to see them come out to Vancouver and take a first hand look at the situation and not sit back in Ottawa and make a decision that really affects people here, safety here. In the face of growth in recreational boating in the growth of marine tanker traffic through Burrard inlet this makes no sense at all.”

Cotter warns the move will negatively impact safety.

“I would like to invite the Minister {James Moore} to come down to Jericho and I will give him a tour in a rescue boat and he can see for himself because I think from his vantage point he is not getting a clear picture.”

He says the coast guard are also first reponders in the event of an oil spill in Burrard inlet and moving them farther away makes no sense.

Read original post: http://www.cknw.com/Channels/Reg/NewsLocal/Story.aspx?ID=170744

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