Lela Evans, MHA Torngat Mountains
NDP Caucus Office
5th Floor, East Block, Confederation Building
100 Prince Philip Drive
St. John’s, NL, A1B 3R4
5th June, 2023
The Hon. Minister Loveless
Department of Transportation and Infrastructure
P.O. Box 8700
St. John’s, NL A1B 4J6
Dear Minister Loveless,
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.
M.H.A., Torngat Mountains