Lighthouses will remain staffed says Minister Shea

line in the sand has been drawn halting one of the Canadian Coast Guard's recent downsizing moves, and it will eliminate one of the worries North Island residents have regarding their safety while traveling and working along the coast.

  • Mar. 31, 2011 7:00 a.m.

A line in the sand has been drawn halting one of the Canadian Coast Guard’s recent downsizing moves, and it will eliminate one of the worries North Island residents have regarding their safety while traveling and working along the coast.

The B.C. coast’s lighthouses will remain staffed.

“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,” Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, the Honourable Gail Shea, announced last week. “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.

“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.”

Alice Woods, acting President for the BC Lightkeepers Local of the Public Service Alliance of Canada, said, “That’s good news for the whole coast. The people of Canada have said quite clearly they  want a helping hand at the edge of the water.”

“I’ve been thinking about the interface between technology and people,” Woods told the Gazette. “Society gets to choose where that interface will be set up. In this case they have said they want the eyes and ears of humans out in those government outposts.”