General · 15th December 2010
North Island MLA Claire Trevena is calling on Ottawa to reconsider its plans to remove the Point Race Coast Guard vessel and replace it with a smaller boat.
“I want Ottawa to hear the voice from the West Coast,” said Trevena. “They want to automate our lighthouses; they want to cut the crew and size of the Coast Guard vessel serving our waters: this is not acceptable.
“People in central Canada need to know that we live and work in coastal communities and we need these services.”
Trevena has written to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Gail Shea, to ensure that she is aware of what the decision could mean to safety and welfare for people in the area.
“The Point Race, and its crew, has served the area remarkably well,” she said in the letter.
“Financial considerations in operating public services are important, but never at the cost of community safety. I would hope that the plans to replace the Point Race take into consideration the real needs of those working on these dangerous waters as well as those who live in remote communities assisted by the Coast Guard.”
Trevena highlighted both the capacity of the vessel, and its crew, along with the nature of the waters around the Discovery Islands and Johnstone Strait. She also pointed out what Ottawa appears too often fails to realise: that the waters in which the Point Race operate are busy year round with commercial operations and that many people live and work in remote communities which are served by the Coast Guard.