Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Senate Committee recommends halt to light house destaffing

If the government takes the advice of a Senate committee into the future of lighthouses on both coasts, the isolated stations will remain fully staffed and continue to provide the services that they currently offer.

After crossing the nation, including a stop on the North coast, the Senate Committee studying the use and need for light houses on both coasts has issued its recommendation to DFO that for now, Ottawa continue staffing those light houses that remain in operation.

As we outlined on the blog back in November,  here and here the committee session in Prince Rupert provided for much local commentary on the issue, bringing together a wide coalition of support to keep the light house stations of the north coast in operation as fully staffed services.

Some of the events surrounding that session can be found below

Demonstration Against Lighthouse De-Staffing planned for Prince Rupert
Automate Lighthouses and endanger lives say North Coast mariners
Destaffing review
Fishernen's Union says DFO can't manage it's finances
Senators say they have a better understanding of Northern BC lighthouses
Senate review
Senators hear support for staffed lighthouses
North coast says 'no' to losing lighthouse staff
Senators looking for input on automating lighthouses

It would seem that the committee heard that call loud and clear as it now has called on the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to halt its current de-staffing plan and suggested that further decisions on the issue should be made on a  case by case basis.

The recommendations which were unanimous among the committee members came after those participants in the cross Canada survey heard overwhelming support for light house personnel on both coasts.

Among the other recommendations made to Fisheries Minister Gail Sea were that guidelines and consolations be made on whether light houses should be maintained  in both Newfoundland and Labrador and British Columbia.

As well, the committee would like the government to offer a cost-benefit analysis regarding the full range of services provided by staffed lighthouses.

Fisheries Minister Gail Shea has not as of yet, provided a response from the government regarding the recommendations of the committee released today.

Globe and Mail-- Keep staffing Canada's lighthouses, senators say
Winnipeg Free Press--  Senate committee recommends lighthouse staffing be maintained for now
Vancouver Sun-- Senate urges coast guard to keep lighthouse staffed
CBC- Keep staffing lighthouses: Senate panel

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