May 2, 2013 2:28 pm

Improvements to search and rescue pledged after auditor complaints

OTTAWA – Just days after the auditor general’s sharp warning about Canada’s search and rescue capability, the Harper government is unveiling a series of measures to bolster it.

Defence Minister Peter MacKay says the government will spend $16.2 million to improve the country’s satellite search systems.

MacKay says there will also be more flexibility in readiness, to better match the availability of rescue planes and boats to the changing numbers of vessels at sea.

He’s also promising to review the whole system every four years to identify changing needs.

The renovated Joint Resource Co-ordination Centre in Halifax will be completed with $2 million in infrastructure upgrades.

But MacKay – who insists today’s announcement was in the works long before the auditor general’s report -didn’t address Michael Ferguson’s key complaint that the air force is strapped for pilots and crews and desperately needs new aircraft.

© The Canadian Press, 2013

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