The new Coast Guard plan is to provide service from a distance, said Stroud. For example: Vancouver, which is the busiest port in the country, will now have their marine communications and traffic services provided from Victoria, BC.
"This approach may work well for air traffic control, however, with marine traffic, it is different," Stroud said. "Local knowledge is most important, knowing about currents, tides, local users and geography is critical when providing assistance to mariners and regulating marine traffic," he said.
"Prime Minister Stephen Harper's cost cutting agenda represents a total disregard for marine safety," Stroud added. "After cutting important rescue coordination service in St. John's, NL and later this fall similar cuts planned for rescue coordination in Quebec City, government has turned its axe on important MCTS centres that play a significant role in the Search and Rescue and other safety infrastructure of this country," said Stroud.
Another important feature of the Harper cuts is the serious lack of analysis and consultation with maritime community stakeholders across Canada. Even CMAC, which has legislative responsibility to deal with matters of maritime safety, has been void of any consultation around the pending cuts to Coast Guard safety services in Canada. This anomaly is not lost on the delegation attending CMAC in Ottawa."We will take that message to senior Transport Canada officials who are mandated to administer the CMAC process," Stroud said. SOURCE Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW)