I posed the following question during Question Period in the House of Commons on Thursday (June 23rd), but the reaction of a Conservative MP across the floor mid-way through my question rivaled the eventual answer in terms of outrage.
Last night the Prime Minister spoke with the Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador.
And, despite objections from everyone — except, it would seem, the honourable member for Labrador — the Prime Minister confirmed he has no intention of reversing the decision to close the Search and Rescue Centre in St. John’s.
This so-called “decision-making measure” will reportedly save $1 million a year.
Could the Prime Minister tell us exactly what price he’s putting on the safety of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians?
I heard some clapping when I was speaking, clapping that I ignored.
Immediately after I took to my seat, Liberal MP Judy Foote, who sits three rows to my left, approached me to say she was “appalled.”
At the point in my question when I pointed out how much the federal government would save, a Conservative MP clapped.
The Conservative MP who applauded, as Judy pointed out, was none other than Brian Jean, MP for Fort McMurray-Athabasca.
Fort McMurray — the same riding where untold thousands of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians have been forced to settle because the fishery of their forefathers is all but obliterated.
The sea is near empty and the Conservative government has turned its back on the few fishermen and fisherwomen who are left.
And Brian Jean stands and claps.
After my question, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans took to his feet in the Commons to say the safety of mariners would “in no way be compromised” by the cuts to search and rescue.
The ignorance is contemptible.