The Marine Rescue Centre of Quebec Avoids Closure

The Marine Rescue Centre of Quebec Avoids Closure

The Marine Search and Rescue Centre of Quebec (or the Canadian Coast Guard if you prefer) responds annually to about 1,500 distress calls on the St. Lawrence River. However, until today, the rescue of this centre was undetermined.

Yesterday, the federal government had yet to announce whether or not the center would remain open in Quebec.

“Things will remain as they currently are, unless there is a public announcement. In a year we will see if the facility is still in Quebec.”

The Canadian government had originally decided to relocate the Marine Centre for Search and Rescue to Halifax, leading to the complete closure of the facilities in the region. This was scheduled to take place in the fall. Originally, this relocation was to take place in 2012.

The calls of many would likely go unanswered with this facility being located in Halifax. Without question it can be said that that the safety of mariners and fishermen on the St. Lawrence would be at a much risk if these facilities were to be shut down. It was practically a unanimous decision that the federal government should reverse this bad decision so that they could continue to maintain and monitor the Quebec region. It is simply common sense.

It would separate the river in two, with a portion of it managed by Halifax and the remaining portion being managed by Trenton without any services in French. It would be absolutely unacceptable.

Saving the Coast Guard
As of today, while it may not have been officially announced it would appear that the federal government has seen reason and are going to leave the Search and Rescue Center open.

The MP for the NDP, Annick Papillon is demanding confirmation regarding the closure of the facilities from the federal government in Ottawa.

“For two years, hundreds of resolutions from several municipalities were gathered to save rescue center in Quebec City. We are currently awaiting confirmation from the Minister during a question period today, but it definitely looks like it’s a victory,” she confirmed.
The spokesman of the Bloc Quebecois for Fisheries and Oceans, Jean-François Fortin also intends to get more details from Minister Keith Ashfield this afternoon.

Since the announcement of the transfer of services to Trenton and Halifax an outcry has been raised, calling for continued service in Quebec.

Wednesday, the National Assembly unanimously adopted a second motion asking for the maintenance of the current Marine Search and Rescue Centre in Quebec. Last week, the mayors of 35 municipalities along the St. Lawrence River joined forces in hopes of convincing the Conservative government to leave the facility in operation.

Michael Ferguson, the Auditor General of Canada said in a report that the number of bilingual coordinators in Halifax and Trenton would be insufficient to compensate for the closure of the Quebec facility.
……………………………………………………………. Staff Writer

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