For Immediate Release
21 June, 2023
MHA Evans writes Minister, again, asking for fairness in air travel subsidies for North Coast.
June 20, 2023
Hon. John Abbott, Minister
Department of Transportation and Infrastructure
P.O. Box 8700
St. John’s, NL A1B 4J6
Dear Minister Abbott,
I writing again to call upon the Provincial Government, specifically the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure, to address serious transportation issues created by the continued delay of marine services to my District of Torngat Mountains.
As you are aware of the impacts to northern Labrador communities of Torngat Mountains (see letters dated June 5 and June 15, 2023) I feel that my pleas for help have fallen on deaf ears.
Our communities have been waiting all winter for the ferry service to begin its short summer service and this continued delay is creating tremendous hardship. None of my communities have road access and therefore are totally dependent on this limited 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. After a long winter, store shelves are bare and all our communities are waiting desperately for the ferry to re-supply essential food stocks. In addition, major construction projects are on hold, waiting for materials and equipment deliveries to our communities. Delays in receiving construction materials in a timely manner means construction projects, including housing, will not happen until the 2024 season.
This ferry also provides essential passenger service because the exorbitant airline prices prevent most residents from being able to afford to fly. Airline travel to Happy Valley - Goose Bay, the closest connection by air or marine services when they are available, for a family of four will cost between $3,000 to $4,800 return by air. Happy Valley – Goose Bay is the closest town that connects my district to the Trans-Labrador highway.
As the ferry service enters its second week of delay, more and more passengers are being stranded. That is why I am resubmitting my request to provide airline service to residents at ferry rates until the ferry is successful in carrying out its full schedule to all of our northern Labrador communities.
Lela Evans (She/Her)
MHA, Torngat Mountains
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For further information, contact Eddy St. Coeur, Director of Communications, NDP Caucus at 729-2137 (o), or email@example.com