Ahoy Minister Ashfield:
When we met in Vancouver at the June 26 roundtable discussion regarding the closure of the Canadian Coast Guard – Kitsilano Station you told me along with other representatives of local marine transportation, industry and recreation, that the decision to close the Kitsilano Coast Guard station was made with “careful consideration” and assured us that neither the Canadian Coast Guard, nor you, would make a decision that would put lives at risk. Last week new, information came to light that indicates you’ve been purposely misinformed and that your words that day were untrue. (see attached). Victoria JRCC Letter CCG Misinformation
The Canadian Coast Guard’s most qualified Search and Rescue experts in the Vancouver area, the Maritime Coordinators of the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Victoria, wrote two letters to their management on July 17, 2012. These letters are evidence that:
1) Closing the Kitsilano Coast Guard Station will endanger the lives of mariners;
2) Canadian Coast Guard management were negligent in not consulting their foremost Search and Rescue experts prior to the decision to close Kitsilano;
3) The information posted on the Canadian Coast Guard website is deliberately false and misleading to the Canadian public; (it should be removed immediately),
4) The federal government must now reconsider the decision based on competent, qualified consultation, before lives are lost.
At this time, Mr. Ashfield, your assurances, based on incompetent, unqualified advice, ring as hollow to the people who transit the ocean waters of southern British Columbia as the Captain of the Titanic’s assurances to his passengers that his ship was unsinkable.
There will be no satisfaction in “I told you so” from: members of Vancouver’s marine, transportation or recreation communities; retired Canadian Coast Guard personnel; local emergency responders; our local and Provincial governments, your Conservative colleagues, and current active CCG SAR experts. BEFORE people perish unnecessarily in these Coast Guard protected Canadian waters, Minister Ashfield, we urge you and your government to do your due diligence and reverse this potentially disastrous decision.
If you would like to discuss this further I can be reached at (604)224-4566.
Mike Cotter, General Manager
Jericho Sailing Centre Association
We Need Your Help To Save Kits Coast Guard Station
We encourage all readers of “in the wind” to add your voice to this issue. Please feel free to cut and paste the above letter as you wish. The life you save, could be your own!
Minister Ashfields email: ‘Min@dfo-mpo.gc.ca’
Please cc local Conservative MP’s to help keep the heat on: