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Mulcair vows to institute 30-minute wheels-up Search And Rescue

The federal NDP says that if they form government, search and rescue response times will improve in Newfoundland and Labrador, and Coast Guard facilities will reopen in the province.

Ryan Cleary, Jack Harris and Tom Mulcair speak to the media at Harbourside Park Thursday. Photo by Rhonda Hayward/ The Telegram

Leader Tom Mulcair was in St. John's today, and he held a news conference at the harbour to make the announcement that an NDP government would institute a 30-minute wheels-up response time for search and rescue helicopters.

Currently, the response time is 30 minutes during business hours Monday-Friday, but at night and on weekends, the wheels-up response time is two hours.

The NDP says that the federal government should also reopen the Maritime Rescue Sub-Centre in St. John's, which serves to help dispatch Coast Guard resources during a rescue.

NDP MP Jack Harris acknowledged that since the sub-centre closed, there's been no actual event where lives have been put in jeopardy. However, he said just because it hasn't happened yet doesn't mean it won't happen, and it's better to have additional safety resources in place.

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