Thursday, May 10, 2012

Simmering outrage over search and rescue reaches boiling point - marine medical calls directed to Italy

I gave the following one-minute statement today in the House of Commons.

Mr. Speaker,

There’s outrage today in my home province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

A long simmering outrage that’s reached the boiling point over at the latest, unbelievable example of how the federal Conservative government is failing our mariners.

News broke Tuesday that medical calls for help from ships off Newfoundland and Labrador — and only off Newfoundland and Labrador — were being routed 5,000 miles away to Italy.

The calls were being directed to a Rome-based non-profit organization that’s been described as the “soup kitchen of telehelp.”

It was bad enough the Conservatives closed the Maritime Rescue Sub-centre in my riding — directing distress calls to Halifax and Trenton, Ont.

Mainlanders have a hard enough time understanding my people.

Let along Italians.

Our search and rescue response times are among the worst in the world, our mariners have died waiting for help that didn’t come.

So did 14-year-old Burton Winters of Makkovik, Labrador.

The Conservative government has written off our fishery, and now our mariners.

The resentment towards this government is turning to distain.

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