NDP DEMANDS PUBLIC INQUIRY INTO B.C. FERRY SINKING

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 13, 2008

NDP DEMANDS PUBLIC INQUIRY INTO B.C. FERRY SINKING

Ottawa, On- Today, Brian Masse, Member of Parliament (Windsor West) and NDP Transport Critic, along with Nathan Cullen, Member of Parliament (Skeena-Bulkley Valley) and NDP Environment Critic demanded a full public inquiry into the sinking of the Queen of the North ferry almost two years ago in the British Columbia, which resulted in the death of two passengers.

“The report from the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) is inadequate for what is required in this case. A comparison and analysis in a comprehensive manner of our safety and security standards for ferries versus the rest of the world needs to take place. We need to have an evaluation of the government’s claims about the effectiveness of so-called ‘safety management systems’ and to ensure that our ferries have the most rigorous, best-in-class mechanisms to protect passengers and crew. A public inquiry can do that,” Masse stated.

“An investigation into what happened and why, is necessary for the passengers and their families for closure. They have waited two years and the TSB report falls woefully short.
A public inquiry is the only way to address the significant concerns and serious questions the families have,” Cullen exclaimed.

The Transportation Safety Board released its report yesterday into the March 22, 2006 sinking of the Queen of the North ferry. The incident took place 135 kilometres south of Prince Rupert, B. C. with 101 passengers on board. Ninety-nine other passengers were rescued and two people are presumed dead. Gerald Foisy, 46, and Shirley Rossete, 42, are assumed to have drowned.

“The government must remove bureaucratic delays and obfuscation. There needs to be understanding and leadership. Understanding for what is necessary for the families and passengers and leadership to obtain and implement the safety measures all Canadians deserve,” Masse declared.

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For more information please contact: Mohummed Peer 519-255-1631