Public pressure reverses cuts to ocean rescue and school programs

 

OTTAWA – Resources that protect personal safety and fish on the Pacific were restored in Ottawa today with the announcement the federal government will reverse unpopular cuts to ocean search and rescue services and educational programs that teach children how to be stewards of wild salmon.

“British Columbians depend on these programs and the proposed cuts were just wrong-headed,” Nathan Cullen said from Ottawa this morning. 

“Good equipment, specialized staff and properly funded rescue programs save lives on the coast, it’s that simple,” Cullen said.  “Cuts to these resources would have seriously impacted our BC coastal communities.”

Cullen also acknowledged rollback of proposed cuts to the Salmon Enhancement Program, which includes the popular Salmonids in the Classroom program the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans has funded in BC for 40 years to teach children to become aquatic stewards.

“This program is incredibly important in helping to teach students about the value of wild salmon to First Nations culture and to BC’s entire economy so that children can help protect our precious resource for future generations.”

The cuts reversal was announced at a meeting of the parliamentary Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans in Ottawa this morning.

Cullen noted public uproar against cuts was largely responsible for today’s action.  He singled out the work of colleague Fin Donnelly (Port Moody—Coquitlam ), who led public and political protests against cuts as NDP Critic for Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard.

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Contact:         Shelley Browne, 250-877-4140, nathan.cullen.c1@parl.gc.ca