The minister responsible for emergency services in Newfoundland and Labrador says this province should get the same consideration that Ottawa is giving to Quebec on its search and rescue centre.

MHA Steve Kent said he doesn't think keeping the Maritime Rescue Sub-Centre open in Quebec is fair, while the one in St. John's remains closed.

"It's interesting that the linguistic issue has been raised, in terms of a rationale for reopening the centre in Quebec," Kent said.

"We have a linguistic issue here in Newfoundland and Labrador, as well. We have a unique dialect, we have unique language ourselves, we have unique place names."

According to Kent, the language barrier issue may not be quite on par with the language challenges in Quebec, but that it's still something the federal government needs to consider.

Specific challenges

Kent said the unique coastline in this province is reason enough to keep a local response centre open, and the growing number of people working offshore should tip the scales.

"We're talking about the safety of people that are working at sea, and we have Newfoundlanders and Labradorians each and every day who are working in our fishery, who are working in the oil and gas industry offshore," Kent said.

"There's more and more people working offshore, and for that reason, safety is paramount, and this is a small price to pay to ensure improved safety for those that are working at sea."

He said there's been good cooperation from the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Halifax, but it doesn't change the fact that more resources are needed in this province

Kent said he will continue to write to the federal government to push for the reopening of the St. John's sub-centre.

The Maritime Rescue Sub-Centre in St. John's closed more than one year ago.