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Feds unlikely to reopen Kits Coast Guard base: expert

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – The Federal NDP may have launched a petition to save the Kitsilano Coast Guard base but one expert believes it won’t go anywhere. The SFU political scientist thinks the closure is a done deal.

“I think the decision’s been made, and governments rarely unmake those kinds of decisions,” says  Marjorie Griffin-Cohen. “I doubt [the petition] will have an effect, and also it can be hard after the fact to rally people.”

But she says one benefit of the petition is that it will keep the Kits Coast Guard issue alive, and may be an easy way to ‘rally the troops’.

“You can do it by email and you can get a large number of people quite quickly,” she adds. “That might show, at least, the level of displeasure here in BC with what’s happening.”

So far, that displeasure doesn’t seem to be having an impact on the Conservative Government, which continues to defend the abrupt, unnanounced closure of the station last week.

“Clearly, they have made up their mind,” says Griffin-Cohen.  “I doubt the NDP thinks the Harper Government will change its mind on this issue.”

Local MPs Fin Donnelly (New Westminster – Coquitlam), Libby Davies (Vancouver East) and Don Davies (Vancouver-Kingsway) have launched a petition, arguing the closure of the Kitsilano Coast Guard base puts lives at risk.

The demand is to immediately re-open the base, which responds to hundreds of calls each year.

Click here to find the online petition.