Kitsilano's Coast Guard answers 100 rescue calls in past 3 months
Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc said 'angst' over the closure was understandable
The Kitsilano Coast Guard station is set for expansion, becoming the first emergency response training centre of its kind for the country in 2017, says Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc.
He spoke at the official reopening of the station today in Vancouver promising the new training centre will make Canada's busiest harbour — that sees $187 billion in shipping a year — safer and help prevent and clean up any environmental disasters.
Here are some shots of the new Kitsilano Coast Guard Base from the outside and in. <a href="https://t.co/bMDnyFstkS">pic.twitter.com/bMDnyFstkS</a>—@KamilKaramali
"Today is a very, very good day for the Coast Guard," said Commissioner Jody Thomas.
The government promised to spend $23 million expanding the role of the station in the next five years.
It will offer:
- An expanded role in emergency environmental response
- Emergency response training for coastal residents
- An incident command post, to coordinate fast response to any incident
Since then LeBlanc noted it has seen 100 calls for rescue, 13 environmental calls, and proven the need for this integral hub in Vancouver waters.
- Kitsilano Coast Guard station back open
After bunker fuel leaked from the MV Marathassa into English Bay and critics called the response "embarrassing," the government also promised to upgrade the base's pollution response capacity.
"I want to thank Minister LeBlanc and the federal government for honouring their commitment to reopen the Kitsilano CoastGuard base ... the connection to our coastal waters is part of the fabric of who we are as British Columbians," said Premier Christy Clark in a press release.
Andrew Wilkinson, the minister for Advanced Education, spoke on the premier's behalf and encouraged his federal counterparts to come back next time, dressed "westcoast casual," noting their crisp uniforms.
Everyone having a chuckle at this duck who refuses to move. <a href="https://t.co/UIaEdk4sKr">pic.twitter.com/UIaEdk4sKr</a>—@KamilKaramali