Mr. Speaker, thirty years ago tonight a tragedy began to unfold. Thirty years ago a winter's gale spawned itself on the North Atlantic sending sea states to 70 foot waves, pushed up by winds of over 100 knots.
As evening rolled into night, the semi-submersible drill rig, the Ocean Ranger, capsized in the North Atlantic 267 kilometres east of Cape Spear, Newfoundland. Eighty-four souls were lost, taken forever. None were spared.
To remind us of our responsibility to the lost, we still wear the scar of that tragedy even though it was inflicted a generation ago. It was a tragedy that could have been prevented, or so found a royal commission on the sinking.
So, today, as we in this Parliament assemble to discuss what is reasonable, what is responsible and what is needed to live up to the promise we made to those 84 souls, expediency can never be allowed to trump safety; no man, woman or child can ever be lost to a cold calculation of financial efficiency; and, if we fail, we prove that we can be more brutal than the sea could ever prove to be.