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Coast Guard Service Cuts Dangerous, Marine Communicators Say

OTTAWA, ON, Nov. 2, 2012 /CNW/ - A CAW delegation representing 350 Marine Communications and Traffic Service officers from across Canada will outline the dangers to marine safety from Coast Guard service cutbacks at Canadian Marine Advisory Council meetings starting November 6.

CMAC, which runs November 6 to 8 at 'Old City Hall' in Ottawa located at 111 Sussex Drive, is a forum mandated by legislation to consult on issues related to maritime safety in Canada.  More than 550 delegates including ship owners, ship officers, crew union representatives, as well as government representatives will be on hand to discuss various maritime related issues.

On May 17, 2012 The Canadian Coast Guard informed 184 MCTS Officers working at 10 centres across Canada that their centre was closing. These centres are located in St. John's and St. Anthony, NL, Saint John, N.B., Rivière au Renard and Montréal, PQ, Thunder Bay, ON, Vancouver, Tofino and Comox, BC. This is in addition to Inuvik, NWT closing at the end of 2012.

Chad Stroud, president of CAW Local 2182, which represents the communications officers, said "this drastic reduction of essential services was done to save money, not to save lives. The reduction in MCTS centres will result in a decreased ability to hear that critical 'mayday.' It's hard to hear when no one's there," Stroud said.

The CAW delegation to CMAC will include affected employees. They will outline their concerns regarding the pending cuts and also circulate a petition to be presented in the House of Commons calling on government to reverse its decision on cuts scheduled for 2014-15. The petition will also be available online.

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