The Newfoundland Ferry, our constitutionally guaranteed link to the mainland, is about to get more expensive, yet again.
The Harper government is putting it to us once again. News today that Marine Atlantic is increasing fees by 4%, on-top of the existing fuel surcharges and they plan to scale back service.
The Crown Corporation that runs the monopoly service claims they have no choice. Marine Atlantic is blaming the increase on huge price increases in lubricants, circuit boards, insurance and regulatory requirements.
The unreliable service is about to get even more expensive and less frequent. These boats always seem to be in dry-dock or being repaired.
If your shrugging your shoulders because you do not use the ferry service an the news does not impact you, think again. Who do you think is going to pay the extra cost of for trucking. You will! This is not an increase for just users of the ferry. We will pay more for goods that have to be shipped across the Cabot Strait.
This is not Carnival or a private taxi system. The government has an obligation to absorb these costs. Why are the costs being downloaded on the residents of an isolated island?
Mostly because we keep taking it! This ferry is our trans-Canada link to the nation.
Why is the Premier and her government not hopping mad about this latest insult to the most isolated province in Canada?
We should not be held hostage because of our geography or because Premier Squanderdale is afraid to challenge Harper for fear of loosing that not so certain loan guarantee on the misguided Lower Churchill Project.