Member of Parliament for Random-Burin-St. George’s, Judy Foote, says she is pleased the Senate Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans travelled to Newfoundland and Labrador as she requested as part of their ongoing study of Canadian lighthouses.
“While the Senate Committee, chaired by Newfoundland and Labrador Senator Bill Rompkey, will be looking at lighthouses throughout the province to determine their future, I especially wanted them to become familiar with the lighthouse on Green Island and how important it is for safety reasons“ said Foote. “When dealing with matters of safety, saving money cannot be the overriding factor in determining whether a lighthouse survives the Conservative chopping block. To suggest that the individuals who staff the lighthouse can be replaced by automation is also foolhardy. There have been incidents where, were it not for the people who work on Green Island, loss of life would certainly have occurred. Such an incident took place recently when a couple from St. Pierre et Miquelon had to rely on the lighthouse keeper when seeking refuge from a storm. In fact, they had to spend five days on Green Island waiting for the storm to abate. That is what the senators needed to hear and I am pleased they took the time to listen, “ stated Foote.
“Nearly 15,000 passengers travelled by ferry this year from Fortune to the French islands of St. Pierre et Miquelon, many of them high school students. The lighthouse on Green Island has been staffed since its existence and should remain staffed to ensure the safety of the public travelling at sea is not put in jeopardy,” said Foote.
“Lighthouses have become an iconic symbol of our diverse and rich history on the sea,” said Foote. “The Grand Bank lighthouse is no exception and has become synonymous with the identity of the community, which is why I arranged for the Senate Committee to meet with various stakeholders in Grand Bank. If the Conservatives are intent on divesting of these historic structures, rather than preserving them and recognizing their value as historic structures, it is crucial they work with those who are prepared to assume responsibility for them rather than see them disappear. That means ensuring the lighthouse in question is in such a condition that maintenance will not be an immediate issue for anyone who assumes ownership,” said Foote.
Members of the Committee visited Green Island, Grand Bank and Tides Cove Point northeast of Fox Cove on the burin Peninsula while in Random-Burin-St. George`s.
Media contact: Judy Foote (709) 832-1383