In the wake of the toxic fuel spill in Vancouver harbor, the Public Service Alliance of Canada is calling on the government to immediately re-open Kitsilano Coast Guard Station and invest in marine safety and environmental protection.
"This fuel spill should serve as a wake-up call to the government." says Bob Jackson, Regional Executive Vice President of the PSAC, "The response to this emergency would have been much faster had Kitsilano Station still been operational and its continued closure puts the environment and the public in Vancouver at risk."
Despite an outcry from the public and politicians at all levels of government, the federal government closed the facility in February 2013 in order to save $700,000 per year.
"Workers at the Canadian Coast Guard, Transport Canada, and Environment Canada did their best to respond to and coordinate efforts to contain the spill, but have been hampered by years of budget cuts," says Christine Collins, National President of the Union of Canadian Transportation Employees.
"The upcoming federal budget provides an opportunity to listen to Canadians, and reinvest in the services Canadians need such as the Coast Guard, marine safety and environmental protection," says Robyn Benson, National President of the Public Service Alliance of Canada.