Moore stands by federal decision to cut coast guard base

Conservative minister accuses Vancouver politicians of failing to 'pick up the phone', rejects marijuana legalization

Federal Conservative cabinet minister James Moore takes questions on coast guard cuts outside the UBCM convention in Victoria.

James Moore is defending the federal government’s decision to cut the Kitsilano coast guard base in Vancouver, saying the city will still have the highest level of coastal rescue response in the country.

The senior Conservative cabinet minister in B.C. also took direct aim at Vancouver politicians, accusing Mayor Gregor Robertson of failing to raise his concerns directly with Ottawa before his council fired a political broadside.

“He has never phoned me, he has never contacted the prime minister,” Moore told reporters after speaking to the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention. “The City of Vancouver could try to pick up the phone.”

Moore said the federal government is sticking to the decision to cut the Kitsilano base and increase the response capacity at Sea Island in Richmond as well as volunteer responders, but added Ottawa would reassess required service levels in future years.

Vancouver councillors had accused Conservative MPs of dodging their repeated demands to meet on the base closure.

Widespread concern has been raised in Vancouver and the surrounding region that the closure will reduce rescue response times and increase the risk of fatalities.

Moore said the UBCM’s call to decriminalize marijuana won’t sway the federal government on that issue either.

“We’re elected on a platform that very explicitly said we are not interested in legalizing marijuana.”

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