Search and rescue groups in Naujaat and Coral Harbour would like VHF radio to be made available. Aivilik MLA Patterk Netser is proposing a pilot project in either of the communities and, ultimately, making the technology available Nunavut-wide.
Speaking in the legislative assembly on Monday, Netser noted that VHF equipment and infrastructure in Iqaluit is “very convenient and you are able to hear people from long distances.”
“If there’s a problem posed by people, response time is very quick. It would be great if we have that in all our Nunavut communities. I believe they’re called repeaters, the towers that are erected at certain distances. With those, you are able to receive people calling on VHF. I learned that although it’s convenient, if you are stuck on the land somewhere, you are able to report (your status),” Netser said.
He suggested that money spent on expanding VHF infrastructure could save the government money on search and rescue missions.
Jeanne Ehaloak, the new minister of Community and Government Services, said she would ask colleagues in her department to take Netser’s recommendations into consideration.
“We want to make sure that they have the adequate resources to do their search and rescue within the community,” said Ehaloak.