With the Coast Guard’s Comox Marine Communication and Traffic Services Centre to be shut down, and operations to be centralized out of Victoria, the Mayor of Comox says there are genuine concerns on emergency response times.

This after sharp criticisms on the Coast Guard response to the tanker spill off English Bay.

At the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities Convention in Courtenay, there was a strong vote of confidence backing a Sechelt resolution demanding an independent audit of the current state of oil spill preparedness.

Meanwhile the Coast Guard is defending their response, saying crews were at the English Bay spill site in Vancouver assessing what needed to be done within an hour. But the AVICC says the containment needed to be handled better.

The issue of coastal spill response was front and centre at the recent AVICC meeting in Courtenay, and more discussions are planned by municipal officials on the North Island and Sunshine Coast.