Government halts plans to automate lighthouses

Plans by the Federal Government to remove the staff from lighthouses along the BC coast have been halted.

Plans by the Federal Government to remove the staff from lighthouses along the BC coast have been halted.

Federal Fisheries Minister Gail Shea says the decision comes following the submission of a report by the Select Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans produced after hearings along the coast, which included a stop in Prince Rupert last November that saw residents united in their opposition to automating the lighthouses.

“One year ago today, I asked the Senate Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans to undertake an independent and thorough study of light-keeper services. Their report, Seeing the Light: Report on Staffed Lighthouses in Newfoundland and Labrador and British Columbia was adopted by the Senate this week. It is unequivocal in its opinion that plans to remove light-keepers from currently staffed lighthouses in British Columbia and Newfoundland and Labrador be halted,” said Shea in a statement.

“Our Government recognizes both the significance of lighthouses and light-keeper services to the coastal communities they now serve, as well as the important role the Canadian Coast Guard plays in keeping mariners safe. Therefore, I have instructed Canadian Coast Guard officials to respect the Report and immediately halt plans to remove light-keepers from currently staffed lighthouses in British Columbia and Newfoundland and Labrador.”