Duncan defends Comox Marine Communications Center shutdown
North Island M.P. John Duncan doesn't think the shutdown of the Comox Coast Guard Marine Communications center in 2015 will have any effect on service.
Duncan comments come after local stakeholders and politicians expressed concerns on the loss of local jobs and knowledge in the area.
"We will be structuring this in a way with new technology and consolidation of operators," explained Duncan."All the coast can and will be covered."
The Comox operation is one of ten operations in Canada scheduled to be shut down in 2015. It is one of three in British Columbia, the other two are Ucluelet and Vancouver.
The calls that are being fielded now by the Comox operation will be sent to Prince Rupert.
"i think its important to have a north coast presence, we still have an Island presence in Victoria," said Duncan." That's a good consolidation, the Island wins in the standpoint that Vancouver is getting consolidated into Victoria. I think we will be well served."
The Mayor of Comox met with Duncan to raise local concerns in his community.
Paul Ives says he has heard from concerned citizens in the area and wants to get the rationale behind the decision.
"He (Duncan) was sympathetic to those concerns and I guess we all have to deal with trying to balance budgets," lamented Ives. "It's my job at the local government level to raise our concerns."
Duncan told HQ Comox Valley that technology upgrades will make up for any lack of local knowledge.
"We have incredible new technology that is now digitized, computerized," said Duncan."With satellite technology, local knowledge has very much displaced technology. I don't foresee a problem."
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