NDP MP Rachel Blaney and Fin Donnelly announced this week that they have passed a motion at the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans to have the committee study the implications of the planned closure of the Marine Communications and Traffic Services (MCTS) Centre in Comox.
“The NDP has worked tirelessly to keep the Comox MCTS Coast Guard open,” said Blaney. “I’m glad to be bringing this issue back to Ottawa. We need to study this closely and make sure the safety of our coastal waters and the public is not at risk.”
The closure is part of the Conservatives’ devastating cuts to the Coast Guard in BC. Shore-based readiness, marine communications and traffic services and search and rescue were all cut. New Democrats are concerned that closing these centres puts our coast and mariners at risk.
“The Coast Guard are the eyes and ears of the water,” added Donnelly, the NDP critic for Fisheries and Oceans. “By closing the Comox MCTS centre, we will put lives at risk. The Liberals promised to restore the Coast Guard’s ability to respond to marine emergencies, but they have not yet made a definitive announcement about the MCTS centres, leaving the communities in limbo.”
The NDP motion adopted at the committee read: That the committee undertake a study to review the imminent closure of the Comox MCTS station of the Canadian Coast Guard; and that the committee report its findings to Parliament.