Mayor Gregor Robertson calls closure of Kitsilano Coast Guard station "sad day for Vancouver"

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      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.



      Don S.

      Feb 19, 2013 at 7:03pm

      A sad day??? It shouldn't be sad. It should be infuriating. What kind of pussy response is "a sad day" and "it is unfortunate that the city was not notified". Does Gregor Robertson actually own a pair of balls?

      Victor L

      Feb 19, 2013 at 9:20pm

      Put in a paddle boat lane! Whoo Hoo!!


      Feb 19, 2013 at 10:42pm

      Don: It's called diplomacy. Yes, it's infuriating – but calling people names isn't going to get the decision reversed. Going after the feds for putting people at risk because our first responders weren't informed? That might get traction.


      Feb 20, 2013 at 5:46am

      who cares. government will sell the land and make $$$$ and then we get to look at no doubt another ugly highrise for which vancouver is known.

      Dave L.

      Feb 20, 2013 at 6:29am

      I do believe it has gone too far for either name calling or diplomacy, if the Fed's backed down now they would lose "Face" and nobody likes to do that.
      I do agree it is a silly decision that should never have seen the light of day , lets hope the voters teach them a lesson in the next election.

      Karen Wheeler

      Feb 20, 2013 at 7:40am

      "Shocking Day" is more like it Mr. Robertson. This is intolerable, I guess no one from Ottawa has actually spent any time on the water here in B.C. Global Morning News often shows a quick look at the inner harbor and there can be up to a dozen shipping size vessels never mind any casual boaters. And just how much is this "new" volunteer base being built in Stanley Park going to cost? I fail to see the logic when lives are at stake! Was the Sea Island base not getting enough "business", if so, why not just lay off a few workers from Sea Island, but to close one of the busiest bases on the West Coast just does not make for "Safe Boating". And as others have said before, "does a life have to be lost" and a family suffer before the politicos understand the gravity in the fatal decision they have made in British Columbia waterways today? I hope you have some answers Mr. Robertson.


      Feb 20, 2013 at 7:42am

      Where does government revenue go?

      Just FYI, If our Prime Minister cut his PR department's current promotion/advertising budget by 50% it could keep the Coast Guard base open for over 30 years.


      Feb 20, 2013 at 11:08am

      it isn't about the cost of the station. Its about the land it sits on. Lets see if the property goes up for sale and who buys it! Just think docking rights in that area, for the millionaires.

      The P.M. found enough money for his new taliban organizstion, Dept. of religious freedom? Get rid of that and we'd have more than enough money for Coast Guard stations.

      It was nice of the mayor to come out and complain but really what has he done. For that matter what did the premier try to do? If the federal government was't going to provide services the city and province could have. the cost is $700K a yr.

      Closing the statin early was good planning by the P.M. and his hench people. There will be nothing to protest, its a done deal and we know when government closes things they don't re open. People who voted for stevie slime last time ought to remember this act and vote something else next time. Lets hope no one dies of this reckless act by stevie slime.

      Captain Crunch

      Feb 20, 2013 at 12:31pm

      I regularly sail and kayak in BC; have appreciated the support from a friendly coastguard (eg in the winter, sailing home with kids on board) - and have helped tow disabled boats, co-ordinated by coastguard via VHF. We should be scaling up the local Coastguard, not scaling it back.
      Issues: Massively Increased coal and oil tanker traffic. ?Collisions between commercial and pleasure craft? -Only a matter of time before there's another Sun Boy incident. See:
      Huge increase in the number of novice boaters (see Sun Boy above). Often these folks are fishing, setting prawn traps and crab pots where they are a hazard to other craft; often they are in more danger than they realize. They need education, and a friendly word from a coastguard would be money well spent. Try having a quiet word with someone from a hovercraft.
      The water here is COLD (at least, when the summer students aren't manning the rubber rescue boat). A few minutes difference in response time is life-or-death.
      Finally: listen to channel 12 on the VHF any time there's a tanker going through the city to/from the refinery, preferably when the water under the lionsgate bridge is full of recreational fishermen (who all pay for licences by the way). I guarantee this will convince you a local coastguard is money well spent. Over.