Safe at Sea?


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Canada's seaways are about to get much more dangerous, thanks to cuts made by the federal government.

The Canadian Coast Guard has announced plans to close 10 of its 22 Marine Communications and Traffic Services (MCTS) centres across Canada, while also reducing service hours for MCTS officers.

The Canadian Coast Guard's Inuvik MCTS centre is also closing and Marine Rescue Coordination Centres in Quebec City, Quebec and in St. John's Newfoundland and Labrador are slated to close.

CAW Local 2182 represents 350 Marine Communications and Traffic Service officers in these centres. The centres which are closing are located in St. John's and St. Anthony, Newfoundland and Labrador; Saint John, New Brunswick; Riviere au Renard and Montreal, Quebec; Thunder Bay, Ontario; as well as Vancouver, Tofino and Comox, British Columbia. This is in addition to Inuvik, NWT, closed in October of this year.

These MCTS officers provide important, round-the-clock, distress and safety services on Canadian coastal waters. They are often the first point of contact for distressed vessels, including fishers, recreational boaters and professional mariners, who rely on the Canadian Coast Guard to provide immediate assistance when needed.

Plans to cut service hours for these MCTS officers were made as part of broader restructuring and cost-saving efforts by the Coast Guard. This is all part of the overall public sector austerity measures being directed by the Stephen Harper Conservative government.

The CAW is urging Canadians to call on the federal government and Coast Guard to reverse its decision to cut servicing hours. MCTS offices must be fully staffed at all times - lives depend on it!

Please take a moment to send a letter to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and ask that it stops the cuts!