Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

September 30, 2009 18:03 ET

Statement by Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans: Review of Automated Lightstation Staffing

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 30, 2009) - The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, today issued the following statement:

The Canadian Coast Guard has advanced a plan to automate and de-staff light stations in a gradual manner in British Columbia and Newfoundland and Labrador. Our Government must ensure the responsible use of Canadian taxpayer dollars while ensuring safety and service to mariners is upheld.

Light stations in the rest of the country have been fully automated and de-staffed for over a decade now. Evidence has shown that automated light stations have not compromised mariner safety and can deliver a high level of service.

However, concerns raised regarding additional services provided by light keepers have been brought to my attention by a variety of stakeholders. We all share the same goals and continue to place the safety of mariners as our top priority.

British Columbia and Newfoundland and Labrador are uniquely situated as Canada's eastern and western most provinces and therefore face unique challenges. As such, they must be approached from that perspective.

That is why I have asked the Coast Guard to undertake a further review of the additional services provided by lighthouse staff on these two coasts. If following this review it is determined that a staffed presence is the only way to ensure the delivery of services, then this option will receive full consideration.

In advance of that review, no light stations will be de-staffed.

Contact Information

  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa
    Scott Cantin
    Media Relations
    Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa
    Office of the Minister
    Nancy Bishay
    Press Secretary