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Saturday, December 10, 2005

Hynes Dismisses Simms' Talk of Private Forecasting

media release - 7 December 2005 PORT UNION

Aaron Hynes, Conservative Candidate for Bonavista-Gander-GrandFalls-Windsor, today expressed disappointment over his Liberal opponent's continued refusal to commit to reinstating public, marine and aviation weather forecasting services in Gander.

In St. John's on Tuesday, Hynes and Conservative Party Leader Stephen Harper made a written commitment to fully restore the public, marine and aviation forecasting services that were removed from Gander by the federal Liberal government two years ago.

Prime Minister Paul Martin refused to even meet with advocates of reinstating the weather services while in St. John's, and answered in rambling and evasive terms when asked about the issue. Hynes' Liberal opponent Scott Simms has also refused to commit to reinstating forecasting services in Gander. Instead, Simms says talks aimed at allowing a private company to provide those services were being held until the election was called.

Hynes stated, "Paul Martin's embarassing rambling when he was asked about the weather station proved how out of touch the Liberals are on this issue, and Scott Simms is only making matters worse by talking about privatized forecasting services. Constituents have told me they are very concerned about any plan that would place such essential safety services in the hands of a private company."

Hynes also pointed out that Simms' own party is not on side with his plan, and questioned Simms' assertion that talks between the private company and Environment Canada have been going on for six months. Hynes said, "Two months ago, I wrote a letter to the Environment Minister asking him to reinstate Gander's weather services. The reply I received last month defended the removal of those services from Gander, and made no mention of any plan involving the private sector.

It's obvious that the Prime Minister isn't aware of any such talks either. It looks like Mr. Simms is freelancing on this issue to conceal his party's lack of commitment to the safety of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians."

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