Harper's closure of the $700,000 a year Kitsilano Coast Guard station which served the extremely busy downtown Vancouver harbour confirms everything you strongly suspected about his value system. The station was the busiest in Canada with about 350 calls a year.
Of course, even while the Cons preach restraint and implement budget cuts, they always have money for Stephen Harper's core values and the voters attracted to them. The Cons are closing the base as part of their budget cutbacks while continuing the $45.8 billion estimated cost of the F35 program according to the auditor-general. Furthermore, they did closed the base within a few days of announcing the opening of the $5 million a year Office of Religious Freedom. I guess those in danger of drowning off Vancouver are comforted by the fact someone may be saying a prayer for them at the Office.
The Cons also announced the closure on the same day the BC government brought down its budget in order to minimize media coverage. Even staff at the base only learned of the closure earlier in the day and then not through the federal government but via a shipping news website. Shortly after that they were ordered to remove any personal belongings their lockers and pack up. Rescue boats were immediately removed from the station. Vancouverites did not expect to close the base until later in the spring.
"Vancouver Coun. Kerry Jang noted no one at city hall, Vancouver Police Department or Vancouver Fire and Rescue received any warning that the base would be closing Tuesday. The city had also put forth a report that spoke against the base’s closure. “The entire city of Vancouver is in shock,” Jang said. “Shutting this base will cost lives. It will play roulette with people’s lives.”
Jericho Sailing general manager Mike Cotter has worked with Vancouver’s marine safety community for 25 years. He said what might be a three-minute rescue mission could now become a half-hour body recovery, since marine rescues at Canada’s busiest port must now rely on the Sea Island Coast Guard base in Richmond, some 17 nautical miles (31 kilometres) away.
“For 50 years, this station has saved lives off the southern coast of British Columbia. People will die as a result of this decision,” Cotter said of the sudden closure."