Ontario Conservative MP Cheryl Gallant's comments on how search and rescue might be managed off the coast of Newfoundland are just plain bizarre - she is lost at sea. Gallant claims her words were misconstrued. That is probably accurate given she clearly has no clue what she is talking about. No life jacket in world can keep her from drowning in her own ignorance about those who make a living from the North Atlantic ocean.
According to the Ottawa Citizen, Ms. Gallant apparently argued that people who earn their livelihood from the sea should take more responsibility for their own lives and not expect to be rescued by the Coast Guard if they run into trouble. Maxime Bernier is vanquished; there is a new caucus advocate for personal responsibility.
If Ms. Gallant is agreeable I'd be delighted to personally fund a trip for her to buoy in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, where she can take the time to reflect on her current orthodoxy. I can assure you her views on how search and rescue should work in my part of the world remain exclusively hers alone.
The MP for Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke might want to know that those who do go to sea don't cast off their bow lines hoping to avail of the services of the government during their voyage.
Actually those brave enough to fish or work the oil rigs in nature's toughest workplace, the Grand Banks, just want to get back to their home ports safely, free and clear of the dreaded "SOS" call to the government. Their workplace safety requirements do occasionally require a bit of government intervention. You see, Ms. Gallant, there is no privately run iceberg shuttle to ferry the stranded back to their communities.
Had Ms. Gallant bothered to do any homework she would have found it interesting to know all the things Conservative governments have done to address search-and-rescue challenges on the East Coast. She appears to blissfully unaware that Prime Minister Stephen Harper re-opened the Gander weather station so local mariners would have a home-based resource to make choices about when it was safe to take to the water. If reality was something this MP was in touch with she'd also be intrigued to learn the private sector is already playing a crucial role in this area whether it be in airborne surveillance or all the safety practices and responsibilities assumed by the owners of the offshore petroleum platforms.
I'll let others more learned in current marine policies and practices properly educate Ms. Gallant on how things really work. That undertaking is beyond the skill set of this writer.