Defence Minister Peter MacKay is responding to calls for improved search and rescue in Labrador by pointing to the province's role in ground searches.

"The primary responsibility for ground search and rescue … rests with the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador," MacKay said in the House of Commons Monday. "We were there to assist Mr. Speaker. There were weather issues [in the search for Burton Winters]. There were issues of maintenance, Mr. Speaker."

Liberal MHAs from Newfoundland and Labrador were in Ottawa Monday to make a case for better federal search and rescue.

They want a full investigation into the death of Winters, 14, and the military's role in the search.

Winters was reported missing on January 29. His body was recovered on sea ice outside the coastal Labrador community on Feb. 1.

Opposition politicians in Newfoundland and Labrador have been calling on the provincial government to hold an inquiry into Burton’s death.

Premier Kathy Dunderdale has maintained she can't do that without federal cooperation.