VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The Kitsilano Coast Guard station is reopening May 1.
However, the level of service it will be providing will be nowhere near what it had provided in the past.
According to retired Kits Coast Guard commanding officer Fred Moxey, the station will simply be inheriting a rubber boat and its crew which are now stationed at Discovery Island at Stanley Park.
“That represents only a quarter of the service the station is capable of. That really frustrates me and the thousands of others that petitioned to have this station reopened.”
Moxey says he had a personal guarantee by then-Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau that the station would be reinstated.
“He promised me that the station would be reopened. Nothing has been done. The day they made the announcement about the station, they should have put a vessel there right away. There seems to be another agenda going on.”
He says plenty of money was committed in the recent federal budget to get the station up and running at full strength – to include an all-weather-boat and round the clock crews.
Moxey points out the station could easily get one of three spare motor-life boats now parked on Vancouver Island.
As for rehiring the people to man a 24-hour operation, Moxey says he’s so keen on getting the station operational, he volunteered his own services and says other retired officers would be willing to work in the short-term while hiring is underway.
The station was closed three years ago, under the Conservative government, as a cost-cutting measure.