OLD PERLICAN, NL — Old Perlican will soon be home to a brand new search and rescue lifeboat station.
Churence Rogers, member of parliament for Bonavista-Burin-Trinity, joined representatives of the Canadian Coast Guard and the local harbour authority in Old Perlican Tuesday afternoon, Jan. 9 to announce the plans and details of the lifeboat station.
The $5.6 million project will make Old Perlican the 41stsite in Canada to have asearch and rescue lifeboat station. Rogers said the decision came much consideration.
“As you know, Canada is a proud maritime nation, and nowhere is that more evident than right here in Newfoundland,” said Rogers. “Before this site was selected, a detailed site analysis was carried out by the Canadian Coast Guard. That analysis concluded that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Small Craft Harbour Site here in Old Perlican was the most suitable location for the station.”
This analysis included factors and harbour characteristics such as water depth, icing conditions, community infrastructure, and wharf facilities that could support mission activities.
The construction of this lifeboat station comes as a part of Canada’s $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan, which aims to improve marine safety and protect the marine environment, as well as coastal communities.
“Our government is incredibly proud of our coast guard personnel and the many services they provide,” Rogers said Tuesday afternoon. “To help support their work, we’re making significant investments to make sure they have the right mix of people, tools, and resources at their disposal.”
The project will reportedly be operational in 2019 – something Old Perlican Mayor Harvey Button says will be nothing short of a positive addition to the community.
“It’s a really big thing, not just for this community, but for the local area,” Button told The Compass following the announcement. “I mean, you’re looking at eight jobs here, and the spin offs from the building. This is a time, too, where we’re seeing a lot of cut backs in some of the more common jobs around here, like at fish plants, so that’s a big thing. The safety, as well, is great. With a station here in Old Perlican, they’re going to be able to look after the whole area a lot better. The other benefits are only second to that, really.”
Button said the implementation of a lifeboat station in the area is something the community has been looking into for a number of years, so to see those efforts rewarded was a major success for the town.
“The cooperation of everyone involved in this was instrumental in this today, and I really think it’s going to make some major, positive, changes for the area.”