Re-Open the Comox MCTS Station

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On May 10th, 2016, the Comox Marine Communications and Traffic Services station closed, despite efforts from many who saw it as a potentially dangerous move. I believe it's only a matter of time before a life is lost or our coastline is environmentally damaged. That is why I have asked that the name of the petition be changed to Re-Open Comox, because I will continue with my efforts in order to try and prevent such an incident from occurring.  

On May 13th, 2016, I received this information from a private party: MCTS Victoria Ch 71 out of service from shortly after 0100 to just after 0400 today. Victoria did not respond to any vessel in the area of Texada Island for about 25 miles. All that was heard was other vessels asking each other what was happening. When Traffic did come back on it was strength 2-3 out of 5. Scratchy and garbled.

 

Last year, the Vancouver and Tofino Marine Communication and Traffic Services (MCTS) stations were closed. With an increase of shipping traffic expected in the future, the necessity of having multiple MCTS stations seems obvious. There is a suggestion that the construction of the new bridge that will replace the Massey Tunnel is to accommodate more tanker traffic—a further increase in traffic in what is currently the busiest area on the west coast of North America. Now the Comox MCTS station is scheduled to close on May 10th, 2016.

The Comox MCTS station was constructed to survive a seismic event, it was rebuilt around 1993. The remaining MCTS stations (Victoria and Prince Rupert) could very well be compromised in the event of a Tsunami, while the Comox station would not. If the Comox station closes, with multiple occurrences taking place at the same time, the remaining stations would be overloaded, possibly jeopardizing the life of someone who needed assistance. Even if both stations were fully operational in the case of a seismic event, they would be overwhelmed. In such a situation, it is likely there would be a decrease in operational ability, if not a failure. This is unacceptable, given the heavy shipping traffic on our coast and danger to lives and the environment. Communications are the foundation on which Search and Rescue operates.  It is essential to a functioning system.

Minister TooToo and Prime Minister Trudeau must immediately stop plans to close the Comox MCTS station because it's closure would pose a great risk to public safety and environmental protections.



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