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NDP Calls on Minister to Act on Ferry Delays on the North Coast

Updated: 4 days ago


June 15, 2023


John Abbott, Minister

Department of Transportation and Infrastructure

P.O. Box 8700

St. John’s, NL A1B 4J6


Dear Minister Abbott,


Congratulations on your new portfolio as Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. I am reaching out to you in your new capacity to request a meeting to discuss the transportation issues that are seriously affecting the quality of life for people in my district of Torngat Mountains. Unfortunately, we do not have the same level of air and marine transportation services as the rest of the province. This negatively impacts our access to food, building materials, vehicles including trucks and off-road vehicles, household goods, and many other essential services for our communities. It also impacts our access to essential services such as home heating oil storage tank inspections and registering heating oil tanks, Bell Aliant service calls, meetings and conferences, etc.


Right now, the biggest crisis we are facing that requires your urgent action is the delay of our marine ferry services of the Kamutik W. I am also calling your attention to my email below that I sent to the former Minister, Elvis Loveless, on June 5, requesting “that the provincial government arrange for passengers to travel on the only local airline, Air Borealis, but at ‘ferry prices’ until the ferry can begin its schedule. This is essential to help Northern Labrador through this tough time.”


Northern Labrador residents can only watch as the central Labrador ferry run resumes (Goose Bay – Rigolet – Cartwright – Black Tickle) and their communities are supplemented with an airline flight schedule that is subsidized at ‘ferry prices’.

Please refer to this link:


Until the ice moves off and the Kamutik W can sail north, we need access to an airline flight schedule that is subsidized at ‘ferry prices’ as well. I will also add that all the Inuit Community Governments and the Nunatsiavut Government support this call for air services for area residents at ferry rates.


I look forward to hearing from you,


Kindest Regards,


Lela Evans (She/Her)

MHA, Torngat Mountains



From: Evans, Lela Sent: Monday, June 5, 2023 6:38 PM Subject: Call for Northern Labrador passengers to travel via local airline, Air Borealis, but at ferry prices until the ferry can begin its schedule


CALL FOR NORTHERN LABRADOR PASSENGERS TO TRAVEL VIA LOCAL AIRLINE, AIR BOREALIS, BUT AT FERRY PRICES UNTIL THE FERRY CAN BEGIN ITS SCHEDULE


Dear Minister Loveless,

Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure


According to the Labrador Marine Inc. press release that I received late this afternoon, the opening of the marine ferry service to our Northern Labrador communities of Rigolet, Makkovik, Postville, Hopedale, Natuashish and Nain is delayed until June 18 due to ice conditions.


This delay of ferry service creates multiple hardships. None of our communities have road access and therefore are dependent on this marine service for bulk food shipments, building materials, vehicles including trucks and off-road vehicles, household goods, and many other essential services for our communities.


In addition people depend on this short summer ferry service to travel because the exorbitant airline costs ‘price’ air travel out of reach of many people. The only time they can travel is on the summer ferry. By delaying this essential ferry service by just one week not only interrupts people’s travel plans but for most it cancels their summer travel because they can’t afford to switch to air. They have budgeted and planned on the ferry prices.


I am immediately requesting that the provincial government arrange for passengers to travel on the only local airline, Air Borealis, but at ‘ferry prices’ until the ferry can begin its schedule. This is essential to help Northern Labrador through this tough time.


Until the ice moves off and the Kamutik W can sail north, we must ensure that passengers are accommodated. Arrangements must be put in place and clear communication established between passengers and Labrador Marine and Air Borealis. I ask that your department agree upon and ensure that flight plans are in place before June 11. Also this information needs to be shared widely and publicly.


Regards,


Lela Evans (She/Her)

MHA Torngat Mountains

NL NDP Caucus Office

5th Floor, East Block, Confederation Building

P.O. Box 8700, St. John's NL A1B 4J6



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