Lighthouse decision protested

  • Sep. 14, 2009 11:00 a.m.

MP Nathan Cullen and MLA Gary Coons are both demanding that the federal government reverse its plan to destaff lighthouses on the west coast, including the one at Langara Island. Replacing the human lightkeepers with automated machines is dangerous and short-sighted, the two politicians said. “They want to run oil tankers in and out of some of the most rugged coastline in the world, nad now they are saying they want them to do it without the help of lighthouse keepers,” Mr. Cullen said. “The minister is completely out of touch with our coastal communities.” Mr. Coons said he has already heard from dozens of his North Coast constituents, including mariners and fishermen, who are upset about the decision. “The keepers of the coast (there are 27 staffed light stations on the west coast, employing 54 light keepers) also provide assistance to many other agencies such as the RCMP, and various other federal and provincial agencies,” Mr. Coons said. “The services of lightkeepers cannot be replaced or reduced by automated equipment. They are the eyes and ears up and down the BC coast and thousands of mariners rely on them for safe passage.”