March 23, 1979 (30th Parliament, 4th Session)

LIB

Otto Emil Lang (Minister of Transport; Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board)

Liberal

Mr. Lang:

The coastguard is certainly in operation in connection with this exercise. The Labrador and the St. Laurent are there, hard at work in an effort to free these vessels. 1 cannot understand the hon. member's logic. He is critical of the fact that passengers are stranded at Sydney and Port aux Basques. At the same time he is critical of the fact that vessels move out when we should know that at this time of year there is ice in the strait. Is he suggesting that we cancel service cross the strait at certain times of the year because there may be ice? I think that is a rather ridiculous suggestion.
I suggest that the right thing is to rely on the judgment of the people who are operating the vessels and who expect that, with coastguard help, they may be able to get through. When, suddenly, very difficult winds trap vessels which are ordinarily capable of managing the ice, obviously there is a difficulty. But I do not think the hon. member has any solution, unless he wants to build airports at each end as well.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   ICE SURVEILLANCE CAPABILITY IN GULF OF ST. LAWRENCE
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