Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a), work is under way to consolidate both the St. John's and Quebec Marine Rescue Sub-Centres, MRSC, into Halifax and Trenton Joint Rescue Coordination Centres, with completion scheduled in spring 2012. Due to the complexity of the project, full implementation will not occur until the Canadian Coast Guard, CCG, is comfortable that the present level of safety and service can be maintained in both official languages. The Coast Guard has completed initial operational reviews on both St. John's and Quebec Sub-centres and a national implementation team, jointly participated by the CCG and the Department of National Defence, will apply the best practices from both MRSC consolidations to ensure that the transition will be seamless and public safety will be assured.
With regard to (b), the total cost to consolidate both centres will include expenses such as hiring, relocation and training costs for employees and changes to existing centres and communications systems. The total cost is unknown at this time, as expenses will continue to be incurred over the next several months.
With regard to (c), a total of 23 indeterminate, i.e., full-time, employees are in an "Affected" status in accordance with the work force adjustment policies in their union/management collective agreement, as their positions are being eliminated. These include 12 in St. John's MRSC, six in Quebec MRSC, and five at the Halifax Joint Rescue Coordination Centre, JRCC. Twelve new positions will be created, six in Halifax, six in Trenton, and all affected employees at the St. John’s and Quebec MRSCs were offered relocation as part of the consolidation implementation. Each employee is being assisted in order to meet their needs in a timely manner. There are also three term employees on contract whose term will not be extended, as the position is being eliminated.
With regard to (d), the 23 full-time employees are being offered assistance in accordance with the work force adjustment policies of their collective agreement. As each employee has a unique plan to address their situation, individual or total costs are not available at this time
With regard to (e), the total Coast Guard operating costs for salaries, operations and management for these four centres in 2010-11 were $5.6 million.
With regard to (f), the total Coast Guard operating costs for salaries, operations and management for 2010-11 were as follows: Halifax, $1.9 million; Trenton, $1 million; St John's, $1.7 million; and Quebec, $930,000.
With regard to (g), the projected total operating costs for salaries, operations and management for both JRCC Trenton and JRCC Halifax are approximately $4.5 million, while the breakdown between the tow JRCCs is still being finalized.
With regard to (h), no incremental accommodation costs are being incurred at the JRCC Halifax, due to a pre-existing renovation plan already being put in place. Concerning JRCC Trenton, this is being determined at this time, so no estimate is yet available.
With regard to (i), language requirements at the MRSCs are currently set at BBB by the Coast Guard and deemed satisfactory by previous reviews conducted by the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages. Following consolidation, both Trenton and Halifax Joint Rescue Coordination Centres will have the capacity to provide services in both official languages and bilingual capacity at the CBC level, an increase above the levels that are in place now at both Halifax and Trenton. The level of bilingual service is regularly reviewed by the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages.
With regard to (j), as is the case throughout the Canadian Coast Guard, resources will be dedicated to maintaining and/or improving the French language abilities of the Coast Guard's search and rescue coordinators. However, total costs will be determined following the staffing of these positions.