Yvonne Jones, Opposition Labrador Affairs Critic and MHA for the District of
Cartwright - LíAnse au Clair, is demanding that government release a study
into reforming marine freight rates in Labrador.
"Government has been sitting on this report for well over a month,
despite a professed commitment to openness and accountability and guarantees
that reports would be released to the public within 30 days," said Jones.
"With the summer freight season set to begin, the time has come for
government to release this report publicly and explain to the people of
Labrador when they can expect freight rates to decline."
Jones points out that marine freight rates in Labrador are exorbitant,
and doing business in the region is often cost-prohibitive. "Businesses in
the region have told me that at the current rates it is just as cheap to
ship freight from Lewisporte to Happy Valley-Goose Bay, placing Cartwright
at a competitive disadvantage. Marine rates must be adjusted to accommodate
regional services and to correct for this disadvantage Cartwright faces
relative to other centres. I expect that the recommendations in the report
will reflect that assessment."
The Liberal MHA is calling on the Minister for Labrador Affairs to
release the report and act on itís recommendations immediately because the
Labrador marine freight season will soon commence. "Government has an
obligation to the people of Labrador to act on this report and reduce rates
for the upcoming season should it suggest such action. I raised this issue
in the House of Assembly last week, and the Minister must stop his