Bur­ton Win­ters’ fam­ily wel­comes in­quiry an­nounce­ment

Pre­mier Dwight Ball says scope of 2019 in­quiry will be de­ter­mined in co-or­di­na­tion with fed­eral gov­ern­ment

The Labradorian - - Front Page - BY DAVID MA­HER AND GLEN WHIFFEN

The an­nounce­ment Dec. 4 that an in­quiry will be es­tab­lished in 2019 into search and res­cue ser­vices in the province was a long time com­ing for the fam­ily and friends of Bur­ton Win­ters.

Win­ters, 14, died af­ter he went snow­mo­bil­ing near Makkovik in 2012. His body was found three days af­ter he was re­ported miss­ing. Search and res­cue he­li­copters were not called to look for him un­til two days af­ter the re­port, some­thing that caused wide­spread con­cern.

The provin­cial in­quiry — which will not fo­cus on any one in­ci­dent, but will ex­am­ine how ser­vices as a whole are pro­vided in this province — hopes to an­swer why there was such a de­lay in the Bur­ton Win­ters case, and what mea­sures can be put in place to en­sure such a sit­u­a­tion doesn’t hap­pen again.

Tommy Wil­liams, the lawyer rep­re­sent­ing the Win­ters fam­ily, said it has been tough on the fam­ily wait­ing for an­swers these past six years. He said, how­ever, the fam­ily is pleased the in­quiry will pro­ceed.

“They have a lot of unan­swered ques­tions,” Wil­liams said. “With re­spect to what el­e­ments are go­ing to come up in this in­quiry, whether any par­tic­u­lar sec­tion or phase will be re­fer­ring to Bur­ton Win­ters, we are still in the early stages to see that. I don’t want to pass judg­ment in terms of what the in­quiry would cover un­til I see the terms of ref­er­ence.

“These in­quiry pro­cesses delve down deeply into how these things func­tion. So it’s not just to­tally cen­tred on Bur­ton for the fam­ily. They know there are other fam­i­lies that ex­pe­ri­ence these type of losses, as well.

FILE PHOTO

A search and res­cue tech­ni­cian from 103 Search and Res­cue Squadron out of 9 Wing Gan­der is low­ered from a Cor­morant he­li­copter to the deck of the Cana­dian Coast Guard Ship Pen­nant Bay dur­ing a train­ing ex­er­cise.

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