The federal government says improvements announced last week to Search and Rescue will help save lives, but the premier is not satisfied with the improvements.

Premier Kathy Dunderdale wants to see larger, more immediate improvements to services, and the opposition is still calling for a public inquiry.

Tory MHA Steve Kent said the connection the people of the province have to the sea is profound, and they need to know they are safe while on the water.

"The auditor general's report confirms what we've been saying all along," Kent said. 

"There are some major problems that need to be addressed, and we will continue to call upon the federal government for action."

Liberal MHA Andrew Parsons said the announcement was a step in the right direction, but still not enough.

"One thing that the federal AG report didn't do was cover areas of provincial concern — ground search and rescue, RCMP," said Parsons.

"We're still calling for the premier of this province to stop asking for action and take action and call for a public inquiry."

NDP MHA Dale Kirby said he doubts the effectiveness of a public inquiry.

"I think it's all good and well to stand in the house of assembly and to demand things of the federal government," Kirby said.

"But what we need to see is the premier standing up for this province to get international standards and have similar things that they have in other countries."

Rising costs of Abitibi

Debate in the house of assembly last week brought the question of whether or not getting the mill was the right thing to do for the province.

Kent said it was a natural move for the government.

"Protecting the natural resources that rightfully belong to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador is absolutely the right thing to do," Kent said.

"We had to act quickly and decisively in this matter, and that will continue to pay off."

Kent said the government had to take action in order to hold on to the assets, such as timber rights, that will bring in assets to the province.

Parsons said the deal was too good to be true from the beginning.

"This was a botched expropriation," Parsons said. "We talk about trying to claim the water and timber, but they claimed the mill, as well, and it's going to cost us hundreds of millions [of dollars]."

According to Parsons, taxpayers will be paying the price of a mistake made by government.

Kirby said the deal was portrayed to be better than it actually was when first brought to the attention of the public.

"The one thing that clearly was not protected was the public purse," Kirby said.

"I remember, as many Newfoundlanders and Labradorians will remember, that day and that time when this decision was made in the house of assembly and it was sold to the public as almost as if we were getting something for free."

Kirby said that if people knew then what they know now about the expropriation, the mood would have been very different.

Kent, Parsons and Kirby were on this week's On Point with David Cochrane.