Municipal politicians will not urge the provincial government to sign a long-term deal with the company that owns the Martin Mars water bomber. The City of Port Alberni suggested a resolution at the Union of B.C. Municipalities annual conference asking for a 10-year contract with Coulson Group, which is based in the city and owns two of the firefighting aircraft, and for Coulson to upgrade the aircraft to meet operational requirements. The province’s previous contract with Coulson expired in 2013. “Think about how people feel when they hear this plane come over,” Port Alberni Mayor Mike Ruttan told his fellow conference delegates on Friday. “It’s iconic. It embodies safety — it embodies we are going to be saved.” But the resolution was defeated after a lengthy debate.
By Jennifer Saltman