Unifor raising red flag after outage at Prince Rupert Marine Traffic and Communications Service

The union representing Marine Traffic and Communication Services workers with the Canadian Coast Guard are raising red flags.

The union representing Marine Traffic and Communication Services workers with the Canadian Coast Guard are raising red flags after they say an outage at the Prince Rupert base on the night of Aug. 17 left a portion of the coast unprotected.

According to the union, the system for regulating shipping movements and detecting distress calls was inoperative between 12:50 a.m. and 3:45 a.m. The union says outage meant distress calls from any boaters on the entire west coast of Vancouver Island may have fallen on deaf ears.

Unifor’s BC Area director Gavin McGarrigle said the blame for the additional risk incurred by boaters can be put squarely on the shoulders of the federal government, which closed the Ucuelet base that formerly provided coverage to the area back in April.

“The Harper government’s cuts have reduced the effectiveness of our coast guard,” he said.

“When our coast guard is compromised, the safety of Canadians is at risk … keeping Canadians safe on our coastal waters is simply not a priority for the Conservative government.”

The Canadian Coast Guard says they outage began at 12:40 a.m., with all services restored by 3 a.m. due to “an issue with Telus landlines linking peripheral sites located at Holberg, Esperanza, Estevan and Mt. Ozzard”.

“Outages can occur from time to time, and are not unique to the new system being installed at MCTS centres across the country. To address these sporadic occurrences, CCG has the established protocols and procedures in place to maintain communications with mariners,” said Coast Guard communications officer Dan Bate.

“As per CCG’s standard operating procedure, the marine community was notified of the outage via a Notice to Shipping. CCG technical staff are working to determine the root cause of the outage to prevent re-occurrence.”

Just Posted

Shutter Shack being held hostage by landlords, protesters say

Victoria-based landlords to supervise removal of equipment from their Prince Rupert commercial unit

B.C. chiefs show solidarity with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs

Chiefs from around B.C. outside the Coastal GasLink pipeline route in Smithers show support.

Harbour debris burned in Tuck Inlet

400 cubic meters of material being burned by the Harbour Debris Society until January 17

Is Terrace prepared for a rail disaster?

Council asked to review surge in dangerous goods movement: “I live in the blast zone,” says resident

Rainmakers dominant over the weekend

Junior and Senior boys basketball teams score victories over Prince George

B.C. chiefs show solidarity with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs

Chiefs from around B.C. outside the Coastal GasLink pipeline route in Smithers show support.

Chiasson nets shootout winner as Oilers edge Canucks 3-2

Edmonton moves one point ahead of Vancouver

B.C. chief says they didn’t give up rights for gas pipeline to be built

Hereditary chief: no elected band council or Crown authority has jurisdiction over Wet’suwet’en land

Condo rental bans may be on way out with B.C. empty home tax

Many exemptions to tax, but annual declarations required

UPDATE: B.C. boy, aunt missing for three days

The pair are missing from Kamloops

Daredevil changes game plan to jump broken White Rock pier

Brooke Colby tells council daredevil event would help boost waterfront business

Liberal bows out of byelection after singling out Jagmeet Singh’s race

Karen Wang says she made comments online that referenced Singh’s cultural background

Truck hauling compressed gas for ‘virtual pipeline’ crashes on B.C. highway

Driver charged and highway closed for nine hours - containers did not rupture

Most Read