Says federal government would co-operate with province on an inquiry into search and rescue
Defence Minister Peter Mackay address members of the media in St. John's this morning. — Photo by James McLeod/The Telegram
National Defence Minister Peter MacKay got an early start today in St. John’s, meeting with his provincial counterpart Kevin O'Brien on search and rescue issues, and announcing funding and pledging support for an inquiry.
MacKay said the federal government would co-operate with the province on an inquiry into search and rescue.
At the Marine Institute, he announced close to $1 million to support ground search and rescue systems.
MacKay has been on the defensive since last week's federal auditor general report laid out deep concerns in the national search and rescue system.
Auditor General Michael Ferguson said the government has a shortage of pilots and other personnel, as well as problems with organization of aircraft.
Premier Kathy Dunderdale has said she's not happy with what she read, and Dunderdale has demanded specific measures and timelines for Ottawa to address each of Ferguson's recommendations.
MacKay met with O'Brien — the minister responsible for emergency services — early this morning, before heading up to the Marine Institute facility on Mount Scio road to make an $876,000 funding announcement.
MacKay said it was a "productive" meeting, and the province needs to co-operate on SAR issues.
"Each of us plays a role in the system. Each of us plays on the same team," MacKay said.
More in Tuesday’s Telegram.