Mr. Speaker, on January 19, I attended yet another rally to save the Kitsilano coast guard base, organized by the Union of Canadian Transportation Employees in B.C.
The Jericho Sailing Centre was packed with boaters, rescue volunteers and politicians from every level of government and political party, including former Conservative MP John Cummins. Notably absent were B.C. Conservative MPs.
Vancouverites will not back down. A City of Vancouver study and experts from the Vancouver police and fire departments confirm that the closure of Kitsilano base will increase response times by up to 60 minutes and will cost lives. They are not impressed by the government's solution to dock a Zodiac in Coal Harbour staffed by volunteers during summer, when it is in winter that a few minutes in frigid water can mean death.
What is worse, the federal government never consulted the city nor the province prior to these decisions which directly affect British Columbians. This disrespect for regional governments and stubborn disregard of expert advice has become a dangerous pattern. Keep Kitsilano base open.