Mr. Speaker, my statement begins with a question. “And whose wish never fails to find my vacant heart on Valentine’s?” That question was written by the great Newfoundland songwriter, Ron Hynes, in his song, Atlantic Blue. The song is a tribute to the 84 men who went down with the Ocean Ranger. It is their wishes that never fail to find vacant hearts on Valentine's.
In the early morning hours of February 15, 30 years ago this evening, the indestructible Ocean Ranger went down off the coast of Newfoundland in a vicious storm. The sinking of the Ocean Ranger resonates to this day among the family and friends of those who were lost among people who were strangers to them.
Marine tragedies are a reality of life for people who live and die by the sea, but the Ocean Ranger is a reminder of the danger of lax regulation, of the danger of assuming the unthinkable could never happen, a reminder of the importance of search and rescue because, 30 years later, needless tragedies continue to mount off our coast.
I end with a quote from another great Canadian songwriter, Gordon Lightfoot, “Does any one know where the love of God goes when the waves turn the minutes to hours?”