The Government of Canada marked the beginning of construction for the new station in Tahsis, one of four new Coast Guard search and rescue stations being built along the coast of British Columbia.
The Tahsis station will enhance the Coast Guard’s capacity to prevent and respond to on-water incidents in the area of Nootka Sound and in the waters off the northwest coast of Vancouver Island. This area was previously identified as requiring increased marine infrastructure, and will benefit from this station enhancing the marine search and rescue capacity, and environmental protection.
The government worked in close partnership with the Mowachaht-Muchalaht First Nation to incorporate local and traditional knowledge in order to determine the best location and implementation plan for the new search and rescue station. To ensure that the project construction moves forward smoothly, and in the best interest of the local community, we will continue to work closely with the Mowachaht-Muchalaht First Nation and the Village of Tahsis.
The Canadian Coast Guard, members of the Mowachaht-Muchalaht First Nation, and the Village of Tahsis marked the start of construction with Mowachaht-Muchalaht prayers and speeches, and a community celebration at the building site.
“The Mowachaht-Muchalaht people have lived on the land in this region and been stewards of these waters for thousands of years. Today, we are here with the Canadian Coast Guard to celebrate not just the start of construction of a search and rescue station, but also a partnership that brings a new level of safety for mariners and supports us in our stewardship of the sea and its resources,” said Chief Jerry Jack, Mowachaht-Muchalaht First Nation.
Expected to open in 2020, the new station will be home to a 14.7-metre Canadian Coast Guard lifeboat, and will operate 24-hours-a-day, 365 days-a-year to enhance Coast Guard capacity off the northwest coast of the Island, keeping the waters safer, cleaner and healthier. The station will feature a 14.7-metre Canadian Coast Guard lifeboat, and a Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat, providing 24-hour response services for search and rescue, environmental response, and other activities.
The Canadian Coast Guard is opening four search and rescue stations in British Columbia as part of the Oceans Protection Plan to improve marine safety, protect Canada’s marine environment and coastal communities, and to support economic growth. In addition to Tahsis, these three stations will be located in Hartley Bay, Victoria and Port Renfrew. Three additional search and rescue stations are being opened in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Funding for the seven new stations totals $108.1 million over the next five years, with ongoing funding of $12.2 million creating 56 new positions to provide search and rescue services from these new stations.