Kitsilano Coast Guard base officially re-opens

Aug 8 2016, 4:54 pm

The Kitsilano Coast Guard base has finally been officially re-opened, with a First Nations celebration at the Jericho boat launch.

The base was closed as part of cutbacks by Stephen Harper’s Conservative government in 2013, but Justin Trudeau pledged to re-open it when he was elected earlier this year.

The celebrations were officiated by Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc, together with members of the TsleilWaututh Nation.

LeBlanc confirmed the base is back and better equipped than previously.

“Its role will be expanded to include emergency environmental response, as well as emergency response training for coastal residents and communities,” said LeBlanc in a release.

“In the future, Kitsilano will also serve as an incident command post which will help ensure a coordinated, timely response to environmental emergencies that may occur on the water.”

Since the controversial closure of the Kitsilano location, the closest base to Vancouver was in Richmond, but calls to re-open the base were ignored by the Conservatives.

Those calls only grew louder after the M/V Marathassa oil spill in 2014, which saw around 3,000 litres of bunker fuel pollute the waters of English Bay.

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson said he was thrilled to see the Kitsilano Coast Guard base finally reopened.

“[The base is] one of the most important public safety resources for Vancouver and our harbour, one of the busiest in North America.

“The City of Vancouver welcomes the expanded capacity of the Kitsilano Coast Guard, ensuring marine search and rescue and environmental response are available in our waterways efficiently and effectively in the event of an emergency.”

Jenni SheppardJenni Sheppard

+ News