Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson issued the following statement today (February 19) in response to the closing of the Kitsilano Coast Guard station:
Today’s closing of the Kitsilano Coast Guard station is a sad day for Vancouver, and this decision leaves our city and its harbour with significant unresolved safety concerns. It is tremendously disappointing that the Federal Government has chosen not to listen to a broad consensus of marine safety experts who consistently expressed their concerns about the clear dangers posed by this closure.
The Kitsilano Coast Guard base has been one the most important public safety resources in and around the City of Vancouver, responding to over 300 calls each year. Vancouver is one of the busiest harbours in North America and has depended on robust search and rescue services that are professionally-trained and fully-resourced by the federal government. In the event of major freighter, cruise ship, or aviation emergency, we remain very concerned that the Kitsilano closure will put many additional lives in danger.
It is unfortunate that the City was not notified in advance that the closure would take effect today. I will be working closely with our Police and Fire Departments to assess the immediate impacts of this closure, and I encourage citizens to continue to make their opinions known to all Members of Parliament representing citizens in Vancouver and across BC.