Harper’s marine safety cuts putting BC’s economy and environment at risk: Liberal Government will re-open Vancouver Coast Guard station

Media/Press Release
Friday, April 10, 2015

Harper’s marine safety cuts putting BC’s economy and environment at risk: Liberal Government will re-open Vancouver Coast Guard station

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 10, 2015
 
Vancouver – Following a major fuel spill into Vancouver’s English Bay, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and his BC team are making a clear commitment to reversing the damage of Stephen Harper’s dangerous cuts to oil spill response and marine safety resources on the BC coast.
 
“I used to live in this neighbourhood, and I know that any spills of this nature are of serious concern to British Columbians and all Canadians,” said Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau. “Stephen Harper’s cuts to marine safety resources and the closure of Vancouver’s Kitsilano Coast Guard Base each undermine our ability to respond to spills like this. A new Liberal government will re-open a full-service Coast Guard station in Vancouver and re-invest in marine safety and oil spill response capacity on the BC coast.”
 
Harper’s Conservatives have cut Transport Canada’s funding for marine safety programs by over 27% since 2009. Cuts in BC alone have included the closure of the Kitsilano Coast Guard station alongside Canada’s busiest port, the closure of three BC Marine Communication and Traffic Centres, and cuts to oil spill response coordination resources.
 
“Marine safety experts are highlighting how Stephen Harper’s closure of the Kitsilano Coast Guard base had a profoundly negative impact on response capabilities following this spill, and the consequences for Vancouver’s local waters and shorelines are deeply alarming,” said Dr. Hedy Fry, Liberal MP for Vancouver Centre. “We are incredibly thankful for the service of the first responders and crews who have worked to contain the damage, and Justin Trudeau’s commitment will help ensure that Vancouver’s economy and environment will never again be similarly put at risk.”
 
Harper’s cuts to marine safety resources and oil spill response capacity have come even as marine traffic continues to increase through Vancouver and along the BC coast.
 
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