Mr. Speaker, I rise to present a petition on behalf of a number of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians and also residents of other parts of Atlantic Canada calling on the government to reverse its decision to close the marine rescue coordinating centre in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador.
The petitioners point out that the rescue centre staff have a unique knowledge of the area, the ocean and the coastline. They are responsible for an area of 900,000 square kilometres. This rescue coordinating centre has the highest proportion of distress incidents in Canada and saves the lives of 600 people in distress each year.
The petitioners call upon the government to reverse its decision and to reinstate and keep the marine rescue coordinating centre in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador. They are concerned that its closure will mean services will suffer and lives will be put at risk.
This is a very important issue in my province of Newfoundland and Labrador. The knowledge of the people at sea and the Coast Guard auxiliary that is available are very important to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.