Tom Mulcair promises to restore search and rescue operations

Tom Mulcair promises to restore search and rescue operations

Federal NDP Leader Tom Mulcair pledges to restore local search and rescue operations if his party gets elected into power this fall.

Mulcair, who made the announcement on St. John's waterfront Thursday morning, has been in the province for the last two days on what's described as a pre-election visit.

"Public protection is one of the central mandates of any government," Mulcair told members of the media. "To have compromised public protection by shutting down the centre for marine communication and safety and marine rescue makes no sense at all."

30-minute response time

Mulcair was joined by St. John's South-Mount Pearl MP Ryan Cleary and veteran St. John's East MP Jack Harris who has been a constant critic of the Harper government's move to centralize search and rescue operations and downgrade hours of operations.

"We want to move to the international standard of 30-minutes response time, wheels up 24/7," Harris said. "That's something we're prepared to commit to as a party."

The party promises to reopen the marine communications and traffic services centre in St. Anthony and the Maritime Rescue Sub-centre in St. John's.

The federal government limited the 30-minute response standard to working hours from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on week days.

The maximum response time for nights and weekends is now two hours.