Eight years after boy’s death, N.L. announces terms of search and rescue inquiry

Newfoundland and Labrador's provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, Friday July 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

The Newfoundland and Labrador government has released more information on a long-awaited inquiry into its ground search-and-rescue operations.

Liberal Minister of Public Safety Steve Crocker told reporters today the inquiry will look at the organization of the province’s search-and-rescue operations and conclude with a report recommending improvements.

Most of the inquiry will consist of informal hearings, with one dedicated entirely to the search for Burton Winters, a 14-year-old boy who was found dead on the sea ice in Labrador three days after he disappeared while snowmobiling.

Read more: One man is dead and one is in custody after a shooting in Labrador: RCMP

Search-and-rescue aircraft were not immediately involved in the search for the boy, joining only after local rescue teams made two requests for assistance.

Former provincial court judge James Igloliorte, who will lead the inquiry, told reporters today he expects it will wrap up in June.

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The press conference about the inquiry, promised years ago, came amid a flood of funding announcements released today by the governing minority Liberals.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 14, 2021.

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