Port aux Basques delegation invited to Ottawa
Members of the Channel-Port aux Basques town council were invited to Ottawa to appear before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities.
In an email last week, Mayor John Spencer said the May 14 meeting was intended to discuss the matter of Marine Atlantic’s federally mandated cost recovery. “Ottawa needs to hear how cost recovery and affordability on our constitutionally guaranteed ferry connection is impacting the price of goods and services for Newfoundland and Labrador. Marine Atlantic needs to be on an equal footing with other Crown Corporations,” Spencer wrote. “VIA Rail moves goods and people just like Marine Atlantic. So, why does Marine Atlantic have a cost-recovery noose of 65 per cent and VIA Rail has no cost recovery? Federal Liberals promised in 2015 to return Newfoundland’s ferry system to affordable levels. Eliminating cost recovery is an excellent starting point.” The town’s strategy was also discussed during a regular meeting of council on Tuesday, May 7. Coun. Jim Lane accompanied the mayor, and Spencer noted Ottawa was footing the bill for the trip.