The Canadian Coast Guard will start work on a new communications building and tower at its Amphitrite Point property in Ucluelet this summer.
“The Canadian Coast Guard’s top priorities are, and always will be, the safety of mariners and the protection of the marine environment,” Coast Guard spokesperson Kiri Westnedge told the Westerly News via email. “This new communication building and tower supports those priorities by enhancing the communications capability of Coast Guard’s Marine Communications and Traffic Services.”
She said the proposed building is expected to cost about $2 million. Construction will begin in June and is expected to be complete by the spring of 2020.
The new building will be located next to the Coast Guard’s current building at Amphitrite Point, which once served as the Marine Communications and Traffic Services Centre, employing roughly 25 Coast Guard personnel, but has been unstaffed since 2015.
“Marine Communications and Traffic Services were modernized in 2015 to ensure a more efficient delivery of services. Services were consolidated to centres in Victoria and Prince Rupert [that] monitor the British Columbia coastline and incorporate new technologies allowing staff to place an even greater focus on safety services for mariners,” Westnedge wrote.
She said the current building still houses communications equipment and is monitored by technicians on a regular basis. She added that, like the current building, the new building will not be staffed once it’s complete.
“While construction of the new building is underway, communications services will continue to be delivered from the existing site. As the new building is constructed, we will work with the Province of BC and District of Ucluelet to determine the future for the old building,” she said. “The new building will have a smaller footprint than the existing building and house new technology to strengthen the links between Coast Guard’s remote sites along the West Coast of Vancouver Island.”
READ MORE: MP Gord Johns fighting for Coast Guard
READ MORE: Ucluelet considers Amphitrite Point project