Senators calling for better Northern Search and Rescue training

Members of 8 Wing/CFB Trenton and the Belleville Senators pose for a photo next to a CC-130J Hercules at the end of their team-building day on October 2nd, 2018.

Photo By: Ordinary Seaman Paul Green, 8 Wing Imaging

© 2018 DND-MDN Canada

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.

About the Author

Josh Campbell
Splash is back as the host of Denendeh Sunrise, CKLB's morning current affairs program. Campbell was mentored by longtime host and Gwich'in entertainer William Greenland. Josh, as he's known professionally by folks across the broadcast industry has worked for CBC North, CKRW the Rush in Yukon, and at CJCD Mix 100. Before moving north for his love of radio and Indigenous culture in 2007, Campbell graduated from Loyalist College's Broadcast Journalism Program in Belleville, Ontario the traditional territory of the Tyendinaga Mohawks. Campbell is proud of his Scottish and Irish ancestry. He was born and raised along the Tobique River the home of the Wolastoqiyik, Tobique Maliseet Nation.

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