Aux­il­iary adds voice to search and res­cue clo­sure

The Compass - - EDITORIAL OPINION - Edi­tor’s note: the fol­low­ing is an open letter to Prime Min­is­ter Stephen Harper from the pres­i­dent of the Cana­dian Coast Guard Aux­il­iary (NL) Inc.

Dear Prime Min­is­ter,

It has re­cently come to our at­ten­tion that the Mar­itime Res­cue Sub-Cen­tre, a divi­sion of the Search and Res­cue Depart­ment of the Cana­dian Coast Guard in NL Re­gion, has been sched­uled to close and ser­vices moved to Hal­i­fax.

On be­half of the ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee, board of direc­tors, and en­tire mem­ber­ship of the Cana­dian Coast Guard Aux­il­iary in NL Re­gion, we would like to strongly ex­press our op­po­si­tion to this de­ci­sion and urge you to re­con­sider.

The CCGA (NL) re­gion, on an an­nual ba­sis, pros­e­cutes ap­prox­i­mately 30 per cent of all re­gional search and res­cue in­ci­dents. We feel that the co-or­di­na­tion of these ef­forts would be dras­ti­cally af­fected if the Mar­itime Res­cue Sub-Cen­tre were to relo- cate to Hal­i­fax.

We would be los­ing the lo­cal knowl­edge of our search and res­cue co-or­di­na­tors and the per­sonal as­pect of deal­ing with our vol­un­teers. Due to the ever-chang­ing fish­eries cli­mate, our mem­ber­ship changes on a con­tin­ual ba­sis. Hav­ing the Mar­itime Res­cue Sub-Cen­tre re­lo­cated will im­pact our abil­ity to ef­fec­tively save lives.

This de­ci­sion by the min­is­ter was based on in­com­plete in­for­ma­tion pro­vided by se­nior of­fi­cials.

We feel the re­lo­ca­tion of the Mar­itime Res­cue Sub-Cen­tre does not jus­tify the end re­sul­tant cost sav­ing mea­sures.

The search and res­cue sys­tem needs to be in­creased in this re­gion, in­stead of de­creased.

We strongly urge you to re­con­sider your de­ci­sion.

Win­ston Pitcher Pres­i­dent, Cana­dian Coast Guard

Aux­il­iary (NL) Inc.

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