February 25, 2018

Premier says few options left to re-open Kits Coast Guard base

Premier Christy Clark held a teleconference in her riding of Vancouver Point Grey where she told constituents that the closing of the Kitsilano Coast Guard base is the biggest issue locally.

Clark says she pressed federal Natural Resources minister Joe Oliver on the Monday over the sudden closing of Kits base.

“And I said to him you know minister you cannot convince British Columbians that you are going to be able to protect our coast from oil spills and other hazardous events if at the same time you are closing down Coast Guard bases in the busiest port in the country.”

Clark continued to say she continues to battle on behalf of the Coast Guard base even after it has been closed.

”We are at a real crossroads here and I am fighting hard to make sure that they re-open this base because it is not just important for our riding it is important for everybody across the lower mainland.”

But then Clark admitted the province has few options when it comes to actually getting Ottawa to change its mind.

”Directly, really the power that we have as a provincial government is the power of persuasion we can’t make them re-open it.”

On the weekend the city of Vancouver said the Department of Fisheries and Oceans owns the land Kits base sits on but Clark says that is not true.

”We own that land that is on, the provincial government owns the land, and we will not sell it. We will not sell it. That is land that we want the Coast Guard to use to protect our coasts and I am confident that we can, if we work hard enough, make our voice loud enough, we can get that Coast Guard base re-opened.”

The Kits Coast Guard base was suddenly closed earlier than planned last week with no notice given to the province while the latest BC budget was being unveiled. 

CKNW Vancouver News

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