“After extensive communication with the City of Calgary and the Office of Mayor Naheed Nenshi, the City of Vancouver’s Heavy Urban Search and Rescue (HUSAR) team is deploying a 30-member contingent tonight to assist with ongoing flood relief and recovery efforts, adding to the 6 City of Vancouver staff that are already assisting in Calgary. An additional 20 members are ready for departure tomorrow if needed in Calgary.
“As the Mayor of Vancouver I remain strongly supportive of Insite and the significant positive impact that it has had both in the lives of its users and for our broader community. With over 1.8 million visits in its ten years of operation, Insite has become an indispensable public health resource for thousands of our region’s most vulnerable residents, and a crucial component of our work to tackle addiction with prevention, treatment, and referrals to additional social and health services.
Below is a statement from Mayor Gregor Robertson:
Today’s closing of the Kitsilano Coast Guard station is a sad day for Vancouver, and this decision leaves our city and its harbour with significant unresolved safety concerns. It is tremendously disappointing that the Federal Government has chosen not to listen to a broad consensus of marine safety experts who consistently expressed their concerns about the clear dangers posed by this closure.
City crews and 20 trucks are out across the city this morning salting and sanding arterial roads, priority hospital and school routes, and major bus routes and hills, as changing temperatures are creating slick conditions in some locations. Four trucks are on 41st Avenue, between Main and Fraser, to add additional salt and sand in that very slippery area. The westbound lanes are expected to reopen shortly.
City crews were out throughout the night treating roads with a mix of salt and sand. A drop in temperature around 3:00 a.m. and the arrival of drizzle caused a rapid change in conditions and quick freezing on the ground.
Statement from the Mayor - 9 January, 2013
The City of Vancouver remains very concerned about closure of the Kitsilano Coast Guard Base. Vancouver is one of the busiest harbours in North America and depends on robust search and rescue services that are professionally-trained and fully-resourced by the federal government.
Two thirds of all life-at-risk calls happen outside of the summer months, when the Coal Harbour in-shore rescue boat will not even be in operation. Response times from the nearest Coast Guard base on Sea Island could extend past 30 minutes, putting lives at risk when each and every minute counts.
City of Vancouver staff presented an alarming report to City Council this morning on the impact of the federal government’s decision to close Vancouver’s Kitsilano Coast Guard Station.
The report by Deputy City Manager Sadhu Johnson was in response to the Mayor’s motion in May to review the full range of safety and financial impacts, including increased service demands on City of Vancouver first responders, as a result of the Kitsilano Coast Guard station closure and any other Federal marine safety cutbacks.
The report reminded Council that the federal government has "Exclusive jurisdiction over navigation and shipping, per the Constitution Act, 1867" and confirmed many of the Mayor’s strongest concerns: