11/20/2013 10:47 EST | Updated 01/25/2014 04:01 EST

Jack Harris says chopper changes don't go far enough

The federal NDP MP for St. John's East says Ottawa's plan to bring in new regulations to make offshore helicopters safer does not go far enough.

During Tuesday's question period, Jack Harris said proposed changes in helicopter regulations ignore recommendations that would make them safer.

The federal government, meanwhile, has rejected the criticism. 

Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Denis Lebel said government is improving safety.

"Mr. Speaker, our government is committed to strengthening aviation safety for all Canadians. Transport Canada reviewed the Transportation Safety Board report and our government has taken action to address the recommendations," Lebel said. 

Harris said the rules should be changed, to ensure choppers can fly for 30 minutes after losing gearbox oil.

"New federal safety regulations don't include the Transportation Safety Board's recommendation that an aircraft should be able to operate for 30 minutes after a complete loss of oil. A requirement that would've prevented this tragedy," said Harris.