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No Different From Nova Scotia RCMP Inquiry: Torngat MHA Says SAR Inquiry Must Include Federal Government
PC MHA for Torngat Mountains Lela Evans says that she is grateful that this inquiry will finally take place however she is disappointed that it has taken so long and that it could be set up to fail.
Friday, July 31, 2020

Office of the Official Opposition
For Immediate Release

 

St. John's, NL (July 31, 2020) – – PC MHA for Torngat Mountains Lela Evans says that she is grateful that this inquiry will finally take place however she is disappointed that it has taken so long and that it could be set up to fail. Just as the Nova Scotia RCMP review needed to become an inquiry with full federal participation, our province's search and rescue inquiry must have full federal participation, given the significant roles of federal agencies and personnel in SAR service delivery.

Evans said, "The tragic death of 14-year-old Burton Winters near Makkovik in 2012 exposed serious deficiencies in search and rescue operations involving not just the provincial government, but federal government personnel and agencies, such as the RCMP and the Department of National Defence."

"Burton's family and many Labradorians pleaded for 8 years for answers that an inquiry would bring. Now I worry that the provincial review of SAR services will never get to the bottom of what went wrong and fail to find proper solutions unless federal officials are compelled to testify and compelled to provide every piece of evidence a full inquiry requires. They should not be left to decide whether they wish to participate on a volunteer basis."

"We should only accept full transparency and accountability on the delivery of search and rescue services to our communities," said Evans. "There was outrage in Nova Scotia when the government tried to limit the scope of their inquiry, and Labradorians will also be outraged if federal officials are not required to testify and disclose evidence."

"Labradorians deserve to have Ottawa as a full partner in our search and rescue public inquiry. It was public outrage that brought Ottawa to the table as a full partner in the Nova Scotia RCMP public inquiry. After waiting 8 longs years for answers we also deserve a proper inquiry for those who have endured tragedies here in Newfoundland and Labrador."

 

Contacts:

Bradley Russell

Director of Policy and Research

(p) 1.709.729.3668

BradleyRussell@gov.nl.ca

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