Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

December 01, 2008 16:36 ET

Fisheries and Oceans Canada: Release of Girouard Report

Statement by Gail Shea, minister of Fisheries and Oceans

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 1, 2008) -

The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, today issued the following statement:

Today I received the report of Retired Rear Admiral Roger Girouard regarding the capsizing of L'Acadien II on March 29th 2008. I want to thank Retired Rear Admiral Girouard for the important work he carried out in preparing his Report. I am confident that his extensive experience at sea enabled him to objectively look at Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) policies and to make recommendations on how to improve them.

I would like to offer my deepest sympathies to the families and friends of the crewmembers of L'Acadien II. I know that this loss is great. I hope that the investigations and reports will help ensure that future losses are prevented.

In addition to retired Rear Admiral Girouard's independent investigation and report, the Search and Rescue Operations Report produced by the Department of National Defence Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Halifax, as well as a letter from the RCMP advising the Canadian Coast Guard of the status of their investigation were posted on the DFO website today. Last week we also received the report of the Transportation Safety Board.

We now have the results and recommendations of all the investigations that were conducted. As a next step, I am announcing the creation of a dedicated team to analyze the recommendations offered in all federal reports on L'Acadien II. The team will be led by a senior Coast Guard Officer and will work with other federal agencies and organizations, such as Transport Canada, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and the Department of National Defence to ensure that the issues raised by Rear Admiral Girouard, RCMP and Transportation Safety Board are considered and addressed. The team will report regularly to me on its progress and their plan will be made public early in the new year. We will also share with the public the actions we take to ensure that this kind of tragedy is never repeated.

The capsizing of L'Acadien II has been difficult for everyone involved, including the officers and crew of the CCGS Sir William Alexander. The Girouard Report has confirmed that "the Coast Guard remains a capable and necessary organization devoted to service and safety on the Nation's sea approaches, harbours and waterways." The CCG is committed to take all necessary steps to ensure safety in its operations: the recommendations in all three reports will help improve that safety.

Contact Information

  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa
    Phil Jenkins
    Media Relations
    Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa
    Office of the Minister
    Ann Matejicka
    Director of Communications