Buoys are Coast Guard responsibility
OTTAWA: The Canadian Coast Guard spends $81.1 million on navigational equipment in the form of aids and maintenance each year but they are quibbling about spending $12,000 to maintain the buoy system in the South Thompson River.
MP Betty Hinton, who today meet with representatives of the Coast Guard in Ottawa, said safety of waterways that run through dozens of communities and from province to province is with out a doubt the responsibility of the national government of Canada not individual municipalities.
Mrs. Hinton indicated there is money in the Fisheries and Oceans budget and Coast Guard is one of their programs.
"The Fisheries and Oceans Ministry gained a 40% increase in its Fisheries Management department this year. We have to ask why they are claiming they can't afford to manage the navigational devices in our river."
None of the local politicians working on maintaining the buoys in the well-used river system wants to see the recreational boaters denied proper navigational equipment. But Mrs. Hinton said all have agreed it is not a service that should be taken on by communities such as Chase, Kamloops or Savona.
"We all need to make it clear to Coast Guard representatives that we expect and require them to continue to mark the river in a proper manner," she said.
Mrs. Hinton said members of the Coast Guard work hard to help boaters in distress, coming to the assistance of 4,500 small fishing vessels or recreational boaters annually.
"I don't believe the Coast Guard wants to see recreational boaters using an unmarked river channel. Their focus is on education, boat safety, saving lives and protecting marine environment," she said.
Betty Hinton, MP
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