A letter to CCG Members on their 50th Anniversary

January 26, 2012

To members of the Canadian Coast Guard,

On behalf of all the members at the Union of Canadian Transportation Employees (UCTE), I wish to congratulate you on 50 years of service keeping Canadians safe.

You continue to play an integral role in the lives of Canadians whether it is on the oceans or the great lakes. You, our members, step up each time and put your own lives at risk regardless of stormy seas, dangerous waters and sub-zero temperatures; working conditions that are incomparable to most. You, our members, pay a high price by spending time at sea or in remote locations in order to guarantee safe travel of personal, commercial or government vessels. You, our members, have families who must understand that the work you do requires you to miss holidays, births, and other family milestones because what you do is more than a job – it is a commitment to the safety of Canadians and our waterways.

I have had the privilege of rejoicing with you when you have had a successful rescue; and mourning with you when you have done all you can but it still has resulted in a loss of life.

As we celebrate your golden anniversary, we cannot forget that coast guard continues to face its own struggles and challenges.  Government has stated that the coast guard must play an integral role in Arctic Sovereignty and continuing to maintain the safety of Canadians.  Yet this same government insists on taking actions such as closing the Marine Rescue Sub-Centres in both St. John’s, Newfoundland, and Quebec City, Quebec as well as eliminating positions in Halifax, NS.  Approximately 27 search and rescue specialists are about to lose their jobs while thousands of Canadians are about to lose their safety net.

UCTE is proud to represent members of the Canadian Coast Guard.  We wish you continued success and pride in your work.  For the work you do, we thank you.

Christine Collins

National President