On the heels of the Newfoundland and Labrador Fish Harvesting Safety Association (Nl-FHSA) Safety Symposium last week and the arrival of Minister Joyce Murray in St. John’s this week, the FFAW’s Inshore Council is reiterating the need for increased search and rescue resources in Labrador.
“Our Union has long supported and called for additional search and rescue resources in Labrador. In particular, there is an urgent need for a ‘Fast Lifeboat Station’ similar to St. Anthony or Port aux Choix. Fish harvesters in Labrador face the same occupational dangers as harvesters in other regions, and they are deserving of adequate search and rescue services. We hope to meet with Minister Murray at some point while she is in town to discuss this and other pressing issues,” says FFAW-Unifor President Keith Sullivan.
Harrison Campbell, Inshore Council member from Labrador, is keenly aware of the inequalities when it comes to search and rescue in Labrador compared to other maritime regions in Canada.
“The federal government has made it clear that the people in Labrador are valued less than in other places of our province and country. The lack of search and rescue services in our region means that if a tragedy strikes, it’s likely the outcome will be unfavourable. This needs to change, and it needs to start with consulting with those whose lives it impacts the most,” Campbell says.
“Fish harvesters in Labrador must be thoroughly consulted and listened to, rather than continually ignored. It’s clear that additional resources are needed, and the federal government must commit to providing these critical services,” concludes Sullivan.
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