Union official says meeting with BC Federal Liberal Caucus provides new hope.
An official with Unifor, the union representing workers at the Comox Marine Communication and Traffic Services centre says a recent meeting with BC federal Liberal MP’s provides hope that the centre may not close in May as planned.
“I think it could be a turning point in all this. I am optimistic about that. It was a good meeting and went very well. It’s nice to have a government that actually listens to you for a change” said Scott Hodge, Vice-President, Western Region – Unifor Local 2182.
The Comox MCTS is supposed to close as early as May, consolidating operations in Victoria and Prince Rupert.
It was a Conservative Government plan and the Trudeau Liberals have appeared unwilling to reverse the decision, however recent meetings between union officials and BC federal Liberal MP’s is providing new hope.
Scott Hodge points to another meeting of the BC caucus in Ottawa next week when more information might be released.
“Yes, the Liberal party members I talked to were very interested. I think what they’re aiming for is to stop the closure. The Liberal party last year did promise to improve marine safety on the coast” Hodge told CHEK News.
Coast Guard management says the closure would save $600,000 to $700,000 a year but the union argues it would be less than $500,000.00
NDP MP for North Island – Powell River Rachel Blaney met with Coast Guard management at the centre today hoping to apply more pressure.
“And from the whole constituency I’m hearing frustration, you know we had five communication stations in this area in BC and it’s now being moved down to three and with this closure down to two so our concern is how can you make sure this is a safe and protected area if we don’t have a communications station here listening to what’s happening on the water” said Blaney.
“Comox is the tsunami warning centre for the Coast Guard in BC and it’s the only centre that’s not in a tsunami zone. Victoria and Prince Rupert the only two centres that would be left and they’re both vulnerable to tsunamis” added Hodge.