MP defends changes to Coast Guard service

Dear editor,

There has been a lot of speculation about changes to the Coast Guard and how they will affect safety on Vancouver Island.

Dear editor,

There has been a lot of speculation about changes to the Coast Guard and how they will affect safety on Vancouver Island.

I have represented the riding of Vancouver Island North since 1993 and lived on Vancouver Island for 40 years. I understand the importance of the Coast Guard.

I am supportive of the decisions made by the government and by the Coast Guard on Vancouver Island.

The Coast Guard will continue to use the same network of ships and responders on the Island to keep mariners safe in an emergency situation and the ongoing renewal of Coast Guard resources will make Vancouver Island a safer place to be on the water. The Island will continue to be served by the same network of search and rescue lifeboats and the Search and Rescue helicopter and fixed wing capacity at CFB Comox.

Search and Rescue lifeboat situations will continue to operate from Campbell River, Port Hardy, Powell River, Tofino, Bamfield and Salt Spring Island.

Our government has recently made unprecedented investments in the protection of Canadians at sea.

Over the past six years, the government has invested close to $1.4 billion to ensure the Coast Guard fleet is ready to serve Canadians when called upon. As a part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan 2010, our government invested $175 million in the Canadian Coast Guard to procure 68 new small vessels, 30 environmental barges, and to undertake major repair work on 40 of its largest vessels.

Vancouver Island and the Mainland will continue to be served by the existing 46 radio towers and five major radar sites that monitor shipping patterns, broadcast weather or other alerts and pick up distress calls from the water.

Currently, there is a service gap among the five B.C. centres; if one centre goes down because of a power failure or has an unexpected high call volume, it cannot ask for help from a neighbouring centre. Our government is fixing this problem to provide consistent, uninterrupted service to mariners.

We are upgrading the Prince Rupert and Victoria centres with the best available technology, ensuring they are integrated, equipping them with better resources and additional staff where needed, and, ultimately, these changes will improve the Coast Guard’s already-excellent service record to Canadians.

John Duncan

Editor’s note: MP John Duncan is the minister of aboriginal affairs and northern development.

Just Posted

The plan for a three-storey, multi-family building on Second Street hit a setback on a recent provincial grant application. Record file photo
Province turns down grant for Cumberland project

Groups spearheading project may look to federal grant, say village staff

A young bear found deceased at the side of the road in the Comox Valley has conservation officers looking for answers around its death. Black Press file photo
Conservation seeking information for deceased Comox Valley bear

A young bear was found deceased at the side of the road near Kitty Coleman Park

Tools of the trade at the 2019 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Photo by Terry Farrell
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

A look at the first stage of the treatment process - where binding of solids and particles in the raw water happens before the water moves to filtration. Photo, CVRD
Water to flow soon from new Comox Valley treatment plant

“We are at our last major hurdle before achieving this critical goal.”

Comox town hall. Black Press file photo
Comox looking at the future of transportation in the town

Council adopted the 2020 Transportation Master Plan Update

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Greater father involvement in the home leads to improved childhood development and increased marital satisfaction, says expert. (Black Press Media file photo)
Vancouver Island researcher finds lack of father involvement a drag on gender equality

Working women still taking on most child and household duties in Canada: UVic professor

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
BC Green leader Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

Most Read