Unifor is throwing its support behind a new petition to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard that calls on the government to halt its plan to close the Comox Marine Communications and Traffic Service base.
Sponsored by new Member of Parliament Rachel Blaney (NDP, North Island-Powell River), the petition contributes to the high-profile campaign waged by Unifor Local 2182 throughout 2015. Unifor represents 300 Coast Guard Marine Communication Officers on both coasts.
Blaney’s petition also calls on the federal government to re-evaluate the bases closed since 2012 and re-open centres if practicable.
“In closing coast guard communication bases, the Harper government took great risks with the lives of Canadians on our coasts,” said Joie Warnock, Unifor’s Western Director.
After closing bases in British Columbia in favour of remote monitoring with untested technology, the coast guard was riddled with outages during the summer that could have had disastrous results for mariners.
Unifor argues that the Harper government closed MCTS bases without consultation or proper risk assessment. When the MCTS Centre in Comox is closed, the two remaining Centres in Prince Rupert and Victoria are located in Tsunami Zones.