Harper says closure of Vancouver coast guard base in keeping with public safety - InfoNews

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Harper says closure of Vancouver coast guard base in keeping with public safety

February 08, 2013 - 12:13 PM

VANCOUVER - Prime Minister Stephen Harper says the closure of a Vancouver coast guard station is in keeping with his government's emphasis on public safety.

The shuttering of the Kitsilano base announced last year has prompted demands from Premier Christy Clark and Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson for the government to change its mind, claiming the move puts lives at risk.

But Harper says his government is allocating its resources in a way that is best for public safety.

He says Ottawa has put its investments in having rescue boats in the water and not towards operating offices and back offices.

The Kitsilano base is in the heart of Vancouver's waterfront and is considered the busiest in Canada, responding to more than 350 calls per year.

Critics, including the premier, have said the decision to replace the base with a three-person inshore rescue team in Stanley Park for the peak boating season still amounts to a dangerous drop in service.

The closure of the base was announced last spring along with the elimination of three other B.C. coast guard communication centres as part of the government's deep budget cuts.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2013
The Canadian Press

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