BRITISH COLUMBIA

Sea Island Hovercraft Arrives Following Kits Coast Guard Station Closure

11/27/2013 05:02 EST | Updated 01/27/2014 05:59 EST
VANCOUVER - A new hovercraft has arrived that was promised by the federal government to assuage anger over the closure of Vancouver's coast guard station.

Fisheries Minister Gail Shea announced the arrival of the rescue craft Wednesday with little fanfare.

The vessel to be stationed at the coast guard base at Sea Island, near Richmond, was promised along with a three-person inshore rescue team at the Canadian Navy auxiliary base in Stanley Park following the closure of the Kitsilano coast guard station last spring.

The Kitsilano station on the city's False Creek was among the busiest in the country, and the city's police and fire chiefs both wrote to the minister asking that the station remain open.

But the closure was part of nearly $80 million in cuts to the coast guard budget as part of overall reductions in federal government spending.

Shea says the investment in the hovercraft is another example of her government's commitment to ensuring the safety of fishermen, recreational boaters and sailors in Vancouver Harbour.

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