I posed the following question today (Monday, April 2nd) in the House of Commons:
Mr. Speaker, the government's spin is not going to bring back Burton Winters or prevent future tragedies.
There are serious problems with Canada's search and rescue, and this minister has presented nothing but empty excuses.
First, bad weather.
Then, imaginary protocols.
And, finally, broken equipment were to blame, when all along it seems to be a question of misplaced priorities.
When will the government commit to a full and independent inquiry to find out what happened to Burton Winters, and to investigate the state of Canadian search and rescue?
Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence:
Mr. Speaker, the Canadian Forces constantly look at protocols, look at updates, look at placement of equipment around the country, and all of the aspersions that the honourable member has cast on the word of the Canadian Forces really do not do him or his party justice.
These are brave men and women who do their level best each and every time.
The primary responsibility for ground search and rescue, as the member knows full well, rests with the province of Newfoundland and Labrador in this case.
We were there to assist. There were weather issues. There were issues of maintenance.
We continue to work with the provinces and territories to respond each and every time, as quickly as possible.