As one of the busiest Search and Rescue stations in Canada, the highly trained crews at Canadian Coast Guard Station Kitsilano conduct an average of 300 professional rescues each year, saving hundreds of lives. In addition, these crews prevent many more emergencies through such activities as boater education, pollution response, aid to navigation maintenance, and escorting large ships through congested port waters.
Whereas the recent decision by the federal government to close Station Kitsilano is a grave mistake that will undoubtedly cost the lives of those in peril on the shores and waters near Vancouver Harbour, we the undersigned petition the Government of Canada to rescind this decision and reinstate full funding to maintain Coast Guard Station Kitsilano.
The closure of this base, is designed to save taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars. However, in reality, the coast guard may have substantially increased burden on the resources of the Richmond coast guard station, thus, you're just moving the problem somewhere else. The problem with this scenario, is that an extremely expensive gas-guzzling hovercraft (up to $2000/hr) is now to replace a small cutter boat (much more fuel efficient) that is geographically located much closer to Vancouver, where the demand is greater. The real problem here is, that there might not even be fiscal responsibility with this decision. The closure of this coast guard station will not only cost lives, but it might not even save taxpayers much, if any, money. The hovercraft isn't even able to perform rescues in a fire situation. Imagine brining bellows of air, to be a beneift to a fire. Further, the last two years have had the coldest summer weather in a very long time. A supposed decrease in demand (and hence the closure) due to temporary weather conditions is extremely short-sighted. Nothing about this decision has been well thought out.
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