Friday, March 23, 2012


The tragic story of  a 14 year old boy  who perished alone on the frozen ice on the North Coast of Labrador near his home of Makovik will be the focus of an investigative piece that delves into the Department of National Defence's response to calls for assistance.

I have tried to take a balanced approach to this tragic issue since the death of this young man. There appeared to be a lot of contributing factors - poor weather, malfunctioning equipment, poor communication between ground searchers and the fact that the young man was out on a snow machine in a blizzard in the first place.

I just finished  listening to an interview on CBC's Morning Show previewing tonight's documentary and I am shocked.
The Fifth Estate says the operational log related to the incident provides contradictory weather reports show the conditions were twice as good as required by  search and rescue helicopters to fly safely. The so called call-back protocol that was blamed for the military not participating when the weather improved appears not to be know to veteran search and rescue officials!

It appears that everyone of the official excuses offered by National Defense were just ass covering exercises. One can only guess that no one thought that an investigative powerhouse like The Fifth Estate would be digging into this tragedy.

The real issue is appears is the state of Search and Rescue assets in Atlantic Canada that were not operational at the time of the boys death on the ice. The The Fifth Estate death says not only were the Search and helicopters in Goose Bay out of service, but all three Hercules transport planes in Atlantic Canada were unable to fly that night!

Search-and-rescue co-ordination currently run out of  St. John's will be shifted to Halifax on April 25th.. A similar facility in Quebec City was supposed to have moved to Trenton. That move has been placed on hold. The issue was front and center in the provincial House of Assembly this week. The opposition claims the provincial government has been weak in fighting Ottawa on the issue. The Premier said the opposition should be questioning the Liberal MP's from the province who she says have not been doing much to advance the issue in the House of Commons.

I really miss Danny! I know who is not fighting for us.

The story just proves that Newfoundland and Labrador has  substandard search and rescue service. That lives in this province mean very little when it comes to the Conservatives.

The  story is growing from a regional tragedy to a national disgrace!


Anonymous said...

Canada Has Sub-standard SAR... or are we still part of Canada...FFS
I will say this much; the first instance of a call not being responded to or a life lost from miss-direction after the SAR center closes. We will have nobody to thank but our premier and maybe then she will realize. Ships are safe in Harbours But that is not what they are built for.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget Susan Sullivan and the Premier hypocritical stance on air ambulance services. I nearly choked when Sullivan said the small choppers were National Transport certified! DO as I say not as I do.

Cyril Rogers said...

Peter, I fully agree with you on the sub-standard Search and Rescue facilities available in this province. We need to keep the MSRC open and, in my view, expand it, possibly at the expense of places like Halifax. Likewise, we are the nearest body of land to a treacherous ocean that annually takes lives and threstens many others. Why is it then that many of these services remain far away in Nova Scotia? Further, we need a full-time SAR component in Goose Bay to cover the remote north-eastern Canadian territory in Labrador, in the eastern Arctic, and toward Greenland. This service should have been a "Term of Union" when we joined with Canada!

On the Danny issue, I respectfully disagree with you! We don't need Danny back! He created the mess that we now have as a "government", because they are all his disciples and he weeded out anybody with any backbone. He was strong and powerful, no doubt about that, but a great leader grooms strong and intelligent people to succeed him. Danny's ego would not allow him to respect any form of true opposition. He then destroyed the will to resist in his own party and hoodwicked the people of this province into believing there were no good people on the other side. Consequently, nobody dared admit to being a Liberal or anything else for a long time. I lay much of the blame for this sorry excuse we have for a government squarely at Danny's feet but many people of the province are also to blame for worshiping at the altar of Danny!