Tuesday, February 13, 2007

It's The Coast Guards Turn!

After BC Ferries featuring so often here, it is someone elses turn.

Too bad the comments are so degrading to the very competent people who keep the aging CG fleet running. Afterall they have had the same cutbacks as the rest of the Federal Government!!


Coast Guard riddled with incompetence: AG says
13/02/2007 3:38:39 PM

The Canadian Coast Guard is burdened with aging ships and riddled with incompetence, Canada's auditor general Sheila Fraser said in a report tabled Tuesday.

Fraser found the Coast Guard has failed to address issues that have left its fleet costly to maintain and operate.

"We are concerned that the Coast Guard has a history of failing to complete corrective action on issues raised in our reports and the reports of parliamentary committees,'' she said.

A lack of national repair standards and procedures means millions have been wasted on unnecessary repair jobs on the aging fleet, Fraser found.

In one example, an engine caught fire after the crew aboard a research vessel fixed an engine without the manual, costing $1.3 million in damage.

In another incident, the repair of two potable water tanks that was supposed to cost $53,000 ended up costing $1.6 million in extra fix-it work.

Fraser also detailed another incident in which the failure to properly bolt down an engine cost taxpayers $1.6 million.

She said that constant repairs to research vessels means the Fisheries Department often doesn't get the information it needs on fish stocks.

"Our Coast Guard has not been able to do any of the surveys on the fish stocks since 2001," Robert Fife, CTV's Ottawa Bureau Chief Robert Fife, told Newsnet.

"So we have been making valuations on fish stock without any proper analysis because the fish stock surveys have not been carried out."

Last year, the entire spring survey of the Newfoundland region was cancelled because two vessels were out of service.

Fisheries Minister Loyola Hearn announced a limited fishery in one area.

"Overall, the cost of providing the service to the (department) has risen sharply, while the number of days at sea and the reliability of that service have lessened," Fraser's report said.

Fisheries and Oceans, which oversees the Coast Guard, said the agency is already at work to address some of its failures.

"A realistic and incremental approach is now being developed to address these matters over the longer term, beginning with a manageable number of key priorities," the department wrote to Fraser.