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Emergency lighting on ferry meets regulations: Transport Canada

Emergency lighting on the Queen of Burnaby met all regulations the last time Transport Canada inspected the BC Ferries vessel, said a spokesperson for the agency.

"The Queen of Burnaby has a valid inspection certificate and no deficiency was identified with regards to the vessel's emergency lighting in its last inspection by Transport Canada," said Transport Canada's Jillian Glover in an email.

That inspection took place on June 3, 2010, she said.

Last week The Tyee reported that NDP ferry critic Gary Coons had expressed concern in a letter to Shirley Bond, the transportation and infrastructure minister, about photos from the Queen of Burnaby showing light sticks, LED lights and flashlights that sources said were being used for emergency lighting in the vessel's two evacuation routes.

"All BC Ferries vessels are required to have proper, fixed, emergency lighting in the event of a power failure (under the Canada Shipping Act, 2001)," said Glover. "The ship's emergency lights should provide adequate illumination to enable a safe evacuation. The owner is responsible for ensuring that the emergency lighting is in good working order and compliant with the regulations at all times."

BC Ferries spokesperson Deborah Marshall said last week that the Queen of Burnaby meets Transport Canada's regulations and that the lights in the pictures appeared to be for convenience and "in no way part of, or replacing the emergency lighting system."

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here.

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