BC NDP Opposition Leader Adrian Dix, BC Conservative Party Leader John Cummins to speak at all-party event to save the Kitsilano Coast Guard Station on Saturday January 19 at 11 a.m. at Jericho Sailing Centre

BC NDP Opposition Leader Adrian Dix, BC Conservative Party Leader John Cummins to speak at all-party event to save the Kitsilano Coast Guard Station on Saturday January 19 at 11 a.m. at Jericho Sailing Centre

Brother of man who lost life in tragic boating accident, MP Fin Donnelly among other speakers

VANCOUVER – An all-party event to save the Kitsilano Coast Guard Station from imminent closure will feature BC NDP Opposition Leader Adrian Dix and BC Conservative Party Leader John Cummins on Saturday January 19 at 11 a.m. at the Jericho Sailing Centre.

Speakers at the indoor event, co-sponsored by the Jericho Sailing Centre and the union representing crew of the Kitsilano Coast Guard Station, will also include Member of Parliament Fin Donnelly [NDP - New Westminster—Coquitlam], Centre Manager Mike Cotter, BC Federation of Labour President Jim Sinclair, and Mandip Sandhu, whose brother Paul died tragically in a 2001 boating accident after the Canadian Coast Guard had cancelled its rescue dive program.

[See: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2001/02/21/coastguard010221.html ]

Dave Clark, Union of Canadian Transportation Employees BC Regional Vice-President, says the event is one of a series of efforts planned to convince the federal Conservative government to reconsider its plans to close the Kitsilano Coast Guard Station.

“We know lives will be lost if the Kitsilano Coast Guard Station closes, we know that literally no one but the government supports this decision and yet they areactually moving to close station even earlier than planned during the most dangerous time of the year on the water,” Clark said.

“The Vancouver City Council report clearly shows that two-thirds of all at risk calls happen outside the summer months but as soon as February we could see Kitsilano closed down and response times jump dramatically to a minimum of 35 minutes from the Richmond hovercraft station,” Clark said.  “With 350 rescue calls a year to Kitsilano Station at Canada’s busiest port it‘s obviously a recipe for disaster.”

Clark said all major provincial party leaders and representatives of all elected federal parties have been invited to attend, along with other community leaders.

BACKGROUND:The federal government’s decision to close the Kitsilano Coast Guard Station will leave the average 350 search and rescue operations each year to the Sea Island Coast Guard Station hovercraft in Richmond, 17 nautical miles and a minimum of 35 minutes away, or to volunteers who will have to leave their jobs, drive to stations and then launch.

For more information: Dave Clark at cell 778-322-2611 or Bill Tieleman, West Star Communications, cell 778-896-0964 or 604-844-7827.  

Facebook Page - Save the Kitsilano Coast Guard Base: https://www.facebook.com/groups/435880883096290/

 

Websites:www.ucte.com