“If BC was located in Ottawa there would be Coast Guard station every hundred feet.”
The Union representing Coast Guard members says the Marine Communications Centre in Comox will be closed even as a parliamentary committee examines the issue.
Unifor’s Allan Hughes says it is strange the MCTS center in Comox will be fast tracked to close May 10th even as politicians in Ottawa gather evidence about whether or not it is a good idea.
“It seems very odd to me that at a time when we know we have technical issues with the equipment in Prince Rupert and in Victoria and at the same time there is a Parliamentary study going on they seem to be fast tracking the closure. I don’t necessarily have any judgement on the leadership I just wonder why there sudden haste to accelerate the closure when the committee is studying it.”
Hughes says the Victoria centre, which will do the lions share of the work now, is in an area considered to be under Tsunami threat.
“The tsunami threat obviously to the Victoria MCTS center. Also the fact that they are concentrating the three of the four busiest centers in Canada, which will handle about 40-percent of the workload of marine search and rescue vessel traffic movements from one center. The complexity in being able to train and recruit staff will be extremely difficult. As well the amount of noise on the radio channels will be huge.”
He says the move will also spread the Victoria center pretty thin as it covered a massive chunk of the BC coast.
Hughes says the Victoria MCTS center will shoulder the lions share of the work covering a massive stretch of the BC coast.
The centers monitor for mayday signals as well as keep an eye on shipping traffic up and down the coast.