A Senate committee is recommending that the North have better search and rescue capabilities.
A report tabled yesterday in Ottawa has 17 recommendations involving the North as well services covered on both the East and West coasts of Canada.
Among the proposals is expanding search and rescue services in the Canadian Arctic, as well as recruiting Indigenous cadets and employees, including those proficient in Inuktitut.
“We want government to act on this report,” Senator Jim Munson told media yesterday.
A pilot project with the Department of National Defence to authorize civilian helicopter operators to provide air search and rescue coverage in the Canadian Arctic and in Newfoundland and Labrador.
In 2012 a 14-year-old was alone on the sea ice outside Makkovik when his snowmobile got stuck. Tragically it took two days before Canadian Forces search and rescue aircraft were part of the search. His body was recovered on the third day.
Also proposed is making emergency position-indicating radio beacons mandatory in vessels in all fishing fleets within the next two years, and other recommendations to increase safety in the commercial fishing industry.
Currently – when someone is lost in the N-W-T – the original military response – including aircraft is co-ordinated from C-F-B Trenton – is Eastern Ontario.
“If the government heeds our recommendations — which we hope it will — this report may save lives,” added Senator Munson.
Some senators feel it’s just too far away during a life or death situation.