05/06/2013 09:50 EDT | Updated 07/06/2013 05:12 EDT

New search and rescue funds boost communications in Newfoundland and Labrador

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - Defence Minister Peter MacKay has announced just over $1 million over two years to improve radio communications for ground search and rescue in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The funding follows a scathing report by the federal auditor general into the state of the country's search-and-rescue system.

The new project will standardize radio communication for 25 search-and-rescue teams in the province.

It will also bring all four Atlantic provinces in line for radio capabilities while ensuring the systems can interact.

MacKay also offered qualified support for a provincial inquiry into search and rescue, saying Ottawa is prepared to work with its partners.

Premier Kathy Dunderdale has fended off repeated calls for a public inquiry, saying the time for study is over and it's time for Ottawa to act on improvements.