TURMEL SLAMS CLOSURE OF QUEBEC RESCUE CENTRE

Conservatives putting French speakers safety at risk: NDP Leader 

QUÉBEC — New Democrat Leader Nycole Turmel criticized the Conservative government today for its risky decision to close the Maritime Rescue Centre of the Coast Guard in Quebec City. 

“The Conservatives have decided it’s ok to put the safety of cruise ship tourists, pleasure boaters and commercial fishermen at risk – all in the name of saving a few dollars,” said Turmel. “Without a maritime rescue centre in Quebec, distress calls will be forwarded to Trenton or Halifax. Emergencies on Quebec shores will be dealt with by people who don’t know the area and might not speak the language.” 

The Canadian Coast Guard search and rescue centre in Quebec currently employs nine people who respond to an average of 1,422 marine incidents per year – 13 per cent of these are distress calls. 

“To save a few thousand dollars, Conservatives are playing games with the safety of French speaking fishers and pleasure boaters from Eastern Quebec and the Maritimes,” said Annick Papillon, (Québec).

Last fall, New Democrats filed a complaint with the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages. The federal agency is currently investigating the closure. 

“Quebecers have set the wheel of change in motion. They don’t want to go back to the old debates and scandals. By working together, we’ll replace the conservatives in 2015 and build a better future for Quebec families”, concluded Turmel. 

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For more information, please contact:
Michel Thisdel, Press Secretary, Quebec Caucus Services
418 930-7483 or michel.thisdel@parl.gc.ca