Families want Cougar 491 memorial to be built
Nearly three years after a Cougar helicopter crashed into the Atlantic Ocean, families of the 17 people killed in the disaster hope to see construction of a promised memorial.
The Newfoundland and Labrador government has already committed to spend $400,000 on a memorial to mark the crash, which killed 15 workers heading to their jobs at offshore oil platforms and the two Cougar Helicopters pilots who were transporting them.
Danny Breen, a St. John's city councillor and the brother of crash victim Peter Breen, said while government has endorsed the concept, it has yet to consult with family members and offshore workers about how best to honour the memory of those who died.
"The time is right now to do it," said Breen, adding that the project needs special care.
"It's something that needs to be done and it has to be done properly."
The provincial government first discussed the memorial in the immediate wake of the March 12, 2009 crash. Breen said it's time that a plan was drawn up, and that the work began.
"I'd like to see something that is family-focused, something that's a place where families can gather for an activity with the appropriate commemoration of the tragedy," he told CBC News. "But something that people use."
Municipal Affairs Minister Kevin O'Brien, who is also responsible for emergency services, said the province remains committed to the project, although no timeline has been chosen for it.