N.L. premier pushes for fast implementation of search and rescue recommendations

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Search and rescue technicians are hoisted by a Cormorant helicopter during a Canada-United States coast guard ceremony in Halifax on Thursday, Sept. 28, 2006. The federal auditor general says the country\'s search-and-rescue system is in distress and some elements are near the breaking point.

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — The premier of Newfoundland and Labrador says she will ask to meet with federal officials to discuss the auditor general’s criticism of search and rescue services.Kathy Dunderdale says she wants to know what Ottawa’s plans are for implementing Michael Ferguson’s recommendations for the system.

She is calling on the federal government to implement the changes immediately.

In a report released this week, Ferguson warned that some elements of the joint military and coast guard system are near the breaking point.

He described a system plagued by an aging fleet of aircraft and an archaic case-management system.

Defence Minister Peter MacKay said Wednesday that work has already begun on the issue.

The opposition parties in Newfoundland want Dunderdale to call an inquiry into search and rescue services in the provinces, but the premier has ruled that out.

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, Ottawa

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