Tuesday, January 29, 2013

'This child of Labrador didn't have to die': one-year anniversary of Burton Winters' disappearance

Mr. Speaker,
Today marks the one-year anniversary of the disappearance of Burton Winters of Mokkovik, Labrador.
The 14-year-old walked 19 kilometres before he lay down on the ice, removed his hat, mitts and goggles, and died.
His body was found after three days.
Search and rescue was called, but the help came far too late.
Burton’s family never wanted him to become the poster boy for all that’s wrong with search and rescue in Newfoundland and Labrador – but he has become just that.
The poster boy of needless tragedy.
Today, the story in the news back home is about how the search and rescue center in Halifax referred to the Port au Port Peninsula on Newfoundland’s west coast as Port au Prince – as in Haiti.
It was a slip of the tongue, they said. But in terms of search and rescue such mistakes can cost lives.
That’s the point that’s lost on this government.
Today we remember Burton Winters and hang our heads with the shame that this child of Labrador didn’t have to die.

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