Port aux Basques del­e­ga­tion in­vited to Ot­tawa

The Western Star - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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