Union cites safety risk as marine communication centres slated for closure

The Canadian Press
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VANCOUVER — Several marine communication centres across Canada, including three in British Columbia and two in Quebec, are being closed by the federal government.

The Canadian Auto Workers union says 77 jobs will disappear and as many as 104 workers will be relocated as the cuts take effect over the next three years.

CAW Local 2182 president Martin Gregoire confirms centres slated for closure include Vancouver, Comox and Tofino on the West Coast, Inuvik, Thunder Bay, St. John, New Brunswick and the Montreal and Riviere au Renard centres in Quebec.

Gregoire says his members provide marine communications and regulate marine traffic, handling everything from distress calls to the management of tankers and cruise ships in Canada’s busy harbours.

He says the closure of the three B.C. centres means only the Victoria and Prince Rupert centres will remain on the West Coast, and he predicts the cuts will leave mariners without a vital safety link.

Confirmation of the closures comes one day after $79 million in cuts were announced, affecting about 400 jobs at the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard.

Organizations: Canadian Auto Workers union, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Canadian Coast Guard

Geographic location: VANCOUVER, Canada, West Coast British Columbia Quebec Tofino Thunder Bay New Brunswick Montreal Victoria Prince Rupert

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  • Mariner
    May 18, 2012 - 16:55

    Guess someone forgot about the closures in this province. Centers at St. Johns and St. Anthony are slated for closures. Yes, St. Johns who handles the greatest number of incidents of all centers in this region. This effectively elimanates the presence on the East and Northeast Coast of the island. Include St. John's Traffic or VTS, which will be handled from Placentia Bay.

  • Dan
    May 18, 2012 - 13:23

    Thank you to all of the Harper voters out there, you have given this deplorable govt its wings. I feel bad for all of those affected by the moronic decisions by Harper and his team of idiots. NO CONS ever again in Canada