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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Newfoundland and Labrador Brings Provincial Ferry Rates in Line with Road Travel Costs

The Newfoundland and Labrador government announced this week that it will be scrapping a scheduled 5% provincial ferry rate increase and that it was lowering its rates to bring them in line with the cost of road travel.


The reduction is intended to ensure that people living in isolated communities around the province have an equal access to goods and services as those in communities linked by the provincial highway system.

The new rates will go into effect on April 1 and are seen by many organizations and individuals as a major step in ensuring the future of rural Newfoundland and Labrador where one of the major impediments to the economy is the cost of travel and of importing consumer goods.

Premier Williams says he hopes the federal government, which operates the Marine Atlantic Ferry Service between the island of Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, will follow suit in the federal budget to be tabled on March 19.
For years the people of the province, who depend on the federally managed ferry service for travel and the import of goods from mainland Canada, have been arguing that the ferry is essentially an integral part of the Trans Canada Highway. The service was also specifically identified in the Terms of Union document when the Province became a part of Canada and as such should be accessible at a comparable cost to road travel.

The federal service is the only major link the island of Newfoundland has with mainland Canada and any increase in rates has a direct effect on the overall economy of the province. It is essential for the tourist market and any increases in rates drive up the cost of consumer goods coming into the province.

The federal government recently announced that ferry rates would be going up and that a new fuel surcharge would be added on top of fairs that already provide a much higher rate of return to Ottawa than those on most other Transport Canada ferry services around the Country.

One of the arguments put forward by some, to the demand that Ottawa reduce ferry rates, has been that the Provincial government should look at the rates they charge on their internal ferry services before demanding that Ottawa do so. With this latest announcement by the Williams government this argument is no longer valid.
During the press conference Williams said, "I think it's timely to do it right now. It's a week in advance of the federal budget. Even though Marine Atlantic will be a separate exercise at least the federal government is in a position to be able to address it and deal with it.”
If you would like to contact federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty or NL cabinet representative Minister Loyola Hearn and let them know that you support a reduction in Marine Atlantic ferry rates you can do so at:

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

You can sure tell an election is coming. Save everything to until last minute to get the votes.

Anonymous said...

If it's not free or close to free then Newfoundland isn't happy.

Anonymous said...

I just heard a radio news cast that informed us that the Hon. Norman Doyle has resigned. Does that indicate that Premier Williams has lost his bid to have non-renewable resources taken out of the equalization package? I hope not, but his resignation sounds very dire to me with regards to having Newfoundland and Labrador's non-renewable resources removed out of the mixture of the equalization formula. It sounds like Canada has won again, and Newfoundland and Labrador will continue to become poorer. What a country we are living in, it sure isn't one that appreciates Newfoundland and Labrador's contributions.

Anonymous said...

After hearing of the Hon. Norman Doyle's resignation myself, I am going to nominate Sue Kelland Dyer to run for this position.

Sue has given up so much of herself for this province and she has received no remuneration for all of her toils. Matter of fact Sue has done so much for this province that we will never ever have the dollars personally to remunerate her for her duties.

Saving the Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro from being privatized has put upwards to a billion dollars into the coffers of the treasury of Newfoundland and Labrador over the past 12 years. The energy that Sue and her group of volunteers put forth to save that Crown Corporation for Newfoundland and Labrador's benefit was astronomical.

Now Sue it is time that you did something for yourself and that is seek office to get a little remuneration for your work. I know if you get elected you will have this province first and foremost in your mind every minute of the day. You, Sue, have already demonstrated your love for this province and how much you want resources to be spent in such a way that they work primarily for the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Your constant effort in trying to put forth to the people of this province that the Lower Churchill Hydroelectric project must be developed solely for Labrador and its people has not gone unnoticed. You have made a number of facts known to the people of this province that support that project going ahead in Labrador. The fact that the world is surging ahead in development, that two of the largest countries in the world want to have standards such as those enjoyed on the North American continent and the European Continent and that the two largest populated countries in the world China and India are looking all over the world for resources for its development, and that they will secure those resources and build industry where ever they have to go to do so. So there is no reason that the Lower Churchill Hydroelectric energy has to be exported anywhere, it can be developed in Labrador with the industries that will result from it being created in Labrador. Labrador stands to win all around in that case.

Sue I am not sure whether your followers are aware of the fact that you have been black listed and you haven't been able to find suitable employment in this province for all of your efforts. But I find that awful disheartening to know that you have gone through such hard times because you have had the guts to speak up and tell your people what is really happening here in this province. Thanks Sue, you have to be commended and I am doing it from the bottom of my heart.

Now go forth Sue and put your name on the ballot for nomination to whatever party you choose for the opening which the Hon. Norman Doyle is about to vacate, so that any good work you put into this province, you will also be able to get a salary for it.

Anonymous said...

Sue Kelland Dyer would be a great choice to fill that seat when it is vacated. I hope she throws her name in the hat and gets elected. Don't let that seat slip out of your grip Sue.

Anonymous said...

If all three political leaders aren't already knocking on Sue's door to have her run for their party, well then, it must be something the matter with the system.

Anonymous said...

I just don't understand the people of Newfounland and Labrador anymore.They have someone like Sue on the ballad .Someone who has time and time again proven how much she loves that poor beaten down Province of our's and she can't get a seat to represent the people of this Province.
Sue ,I said it befor ,and I'll say it again.If I were near you ,I would kiss you .If I could, I would hug you .If I had the chance to show you how much I care for you and what you do for my home ,I would throw my arms around you and give you what I could .
We as Newfounlander's and Labradorians ,have never had someone or something unite us as a people.It has always been Catholic agaisnt Protestant.Baymen agiasnt Townie.Divide and conquer has always surrounded us as a people.Look at what is happening to us now ,with some view's on the Province.Until we learn to do it for ourselves,and only then will we become a "have" province.Only when we have someone like "Sue",leading the province.Making life better for the people ,will we be able to reach the goals that we have set out for ourselves.We miss you and love you Sue.Wherever you may be.God Bless.

"FREE NEWFOUNDLAN,AND LABRADOR"

Anonymous said...

Yes indeed, nobody has contributed more to the province of Newfoundland and Labrador in time spent on research and then time spent in portraying the knowledge garnered to the people of this province than Sue Kelland Dyer. Nobody has even come close to it. And believe it or not, it was all volunteer time. It makes me sick to think that a person like Sue Kelland Dyer is blacklisted from getting employment in this province, all because she had the guts to inform her fellow Newfoundlanders and Labradorians on how we have been duped by our politicians.

Let us all join our voices and ask Sue Kelland Dyer to go after the seat that is about to be vacated by the Hon. Norman Doyle. Sue will be a great addition to the political realm of this province, no matter what party she represents.

Anonymous said...

"Sue For Prime Minister"

Pedestrian said...

She is a supreme force for evil in this country; all she's good for is putting up barriers.

Anonymous said...

There is nothing evil with Sue Kelland Dyer. As far as this province, Newfoundland and Labrador, is concerned she stands for equality and fairness. She is a voice that has been missing for the best part of the 58 years that we have being under Canada wings.

Now that we have a voice guiding us and telling us that we should have no more give aways, we are told we are an evil force. We are an evil force in Canadian eyes because we are not willing to make some other part of the country the primary beneficiary of our resources ever again. Under that system Newfoundland and Labrador stand to be the winner and Canada the loser. That structure will upset a lot of Canadians, but we have to not let it bother us that we are being called unkind names and move forward confidently with the development of our resources.

Anonymous said...

This is in regards to the comment that was left by "pedestrain".Forgive me,please,if I seem come across in anger ,or if for some strange reason I feel hostile to your pety little taunts,and flaky mind set.But ,what other reaction would a person like you wish to recieve by coming to a "Blog" such as this. Leaving such remarks .Do you even know what kind of person that she is.Could you possibly contemplate the mind set of such a great person.One that has made such personal Sacrifice,not for herself,but for the betterment of her people ,family ,and friend's .I'll tell you what "pedestrain",you look after this scum ,that you have running rampant ,in mainland canada. http://www.thiscanada.com/2007/02/21/sheep/
And ,I might even start to think about giving your kind the respect that you think you are owed.But,for the love of sweet God,don't come here and criticize
one of our own ,unless you wish that kind of a response.I think what I'm trying to say is ," until you can live up to what you think your counttry stands for ,don't tell me what kind of people have built my nation"And ,until you figure that out,we really don't have shit to discuss.OH,and by the way,"God Bless Sue Kelland Dyer"

"FREE NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR"

Pedestrian said...

Dude, I live in the East End.

Anonymous said...

Thank you anon of 10:11 PM

"Yes" May God Bless Sue Kelland Dyer, Newfoundland and Labrador's guiding light.

I hope and pray that Sue can be inspired into putting her name in the political ring for the soon to be vacated seat of the Hon. Norman Doyle.

Anonymous said...

So that atumatically gives you the right to lay that kind of criticism ."$%@# YOU BE'OUCH" !!!!

FREE NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR!!!

ISDABY said...

To Pedestrian,

no matter how entitled you feel to your opinion, tossing out outrageous statements like yours above, without offering any discussion or reasons why you feel that way,...is no more than trolling...

Don't be surprised by the anger you recieve in response.

However, based on your lack of input, I believe that's what you're looking for...

"you get back what you put in"

Patriot said...

Hey folks, I have nothing against Sue Kelland Dyer, in fact I also appreciate some of the things she's done and said, but when did this site become the Sue for Prime Minister site?

I don't mind the odd comment or word of praise for anyone doing good in NL but come on, it's starting to become more like SPAM in here than anything else.

Anonymous said...

I, the anon, of March 13, 2007 1:11 PM who suggested that Sue Kelland Dyer throw her name in the ring for the vacated spot of the Hon. Norman Doyle, want nothing more than a politician who will protect our resources. A politician who will ask her/himself the question will this resource which we are now developing serve another province better or will Newfoundland and Labrador be the primary beneficiary? If the answer to that politician’s question is that the resource will be the primary beneficiary of Newfoundland and Labrador and that there will be permanent jobs and prosperity received from it for Newfoundland and Labrador, that is all that I request. A prosperous Newfoundland and Labrador will mean a prosperous Canada, since Ottawa gets its pound of flesh from the taxation of the prosperity that Newfoundland and Labrador will enjoy, and we will be contributing to the equalization pot.

I, myself, would be only too happy to stay under Canada's wings, but Canada has to recognize that the province of Newfoundland and Labrador needs its resources to work for it. I just want recognition for our contribution and instead of showing up on Ottawa's ledgers as a drain on Canada because of how our resources are spent, I want the resources to show up as being produced and refined in the province. Then the appropriate taxes and equalization payments can be remitted to Ottawa and the figures on Ottawa's ledgers will show up in a different column, instead of the Liability column Newfoundland and Labrador's accounting figures will show up in the Assets column. Long may Ottawa reign with the accounting computed in that manner and long may Newfoundland and Labrador be part of it? If Ottawa is not willing to change that, I, too, will want to be free of Canada. I think I am very reasonable and sane in my thoughts on that issue. What are we to do if we are kept in a perpetual state of poverty in what is called the best country in the world? You decide.

Anonymous said...

It's time the feds either accept NL into confederation by allowing us to be integrated into the federation or they should simply let us leave. Instead they insist on keeping us here while they slowly kill our province.

Anonymous said...

All Apologies patriot.In the last few years "Sue" has become a beacon of hope for me.That somday, becuase of people like"Sue",and yourself.I would once again be able to return to my nation and live amongst my people in prosperity.Now I don't want to sound like a Fool,or come across like something half stuffed with foolishness,but,I'm so sorry.I feel like I have lost all hope in Newfounland and Labrador,since I haven't heard a word from her Blog.To differant folks people like you and Mrs Kelland-Dyer mean differant things.To me ,you both stand for hope ,and faith.(Pardon me,it gets hard to type when I get emotional).
This is were WJM comes in and say's "OH Brother"But,what can I say.Its not thru the Political Process that Newfounland and Labrador has recieved what she has ,but thru people like yourself and Mrs Kelland-Dyer that are not afraid to hang the dirty laundry of this so called "Federation."I hope and I pray that someone,anyone ,can fill the shoes that I now feel are empty because of her Silence.May God Help us all.

FREE NEWFOUNDLAND,AND LABRADOR

Anonymous said...

Sue Kelland Dyer has done more for this province by making its people more informed on matters than all of the politicians who have come and gone, and who are here presently, and probably who will come in the future.

Her voice has been silenced, I don't know by whom, but whoever has done the great horrible deed, they have dealt a big blow to Newfoundland and Labrador. It is a big setback for this province.

I am terribly upset for all of our citizens.

Anonymous said...

I don't agree 100% with Sue, however I respect all her efforts to educate us about NL matters.

It would be a great idea to have her represent us at the government level.

The only problem I see is this one: If Sue would be up for elections in St John's East, do you think people would vote for her?
I don't think she would win. Unfortunately.


Pat

Anonymous said...

People might forget that Sue Kelland Dyer and her group were instrumental in stopping the privatization of Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro 12 years ago. As a result hundreds of millions of dollars have gone into the coffers of Newfoundland and Labrador Treasuary, instead of the pockets of shareholders. Sue used every ounze of strength to save that Crown Corporation from the clutches of the private sector and I have yet to hear Sue blow her horn, nor have I heard of any accolades sent her way in thanks for what she did. She has been very humble, despite the wonderful deed she was instrumental in accomplishing for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. Instead of patting her chest to augment her ego, Sue just went on about her business and tackled other issues, and she has tackled many issues over the years since, free of charge. She has done more for this province than we could ever repay her for.

I am wondering if now Sue is being paid back by a certain sector of society, the establishment,who dislikes Sue for accomplishing that feat, in other words grabbing Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro back from their clutches. The people who I am speaking of were slavering and waiting at that time for the privatization of the Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro back 12 years ago. The people concerned, who would have been the beneficiaries of that deal, would have ended up with lots of money in their pockets and they are the ones, no doubt, who turned on her, and as a result of Sue scuttling that deal, she has been black listed into getting meaningful employment ever since.

I am wondering how many people know that such things happen in this province and, no doubt, that scenario is probably the malady that Sue is suffering from ever since that keeps her from obtaining meaningful employment?

Anonymous said...

Artfull Dodger said....

My impression, is that Ms Dyer has burnt bridges in both the liberal and progressive conservative partys, and for that reason is persona non gratis with respect to these two partys.

Correct me if I am wrong, but I can only imagine Ms Dyer being welcomed within the folds of the NDP or the Green partys, both which can only be considered protest partys.

I don't agree 100% with everything Sue espouses to, however she has had some valid points. She has been rather quiet as of late which leaves me to wonder if Williams has siced the legal dogs on her for some reason!

Regards,

Artfull Dodger

Anonymous said...

She has only burnt bridges because somebody said that is what she did. Sue Kelland Dyer helped her people tremendously by speaking out on issues that nobody else would dare touch. As a result the people who wanted to keep things silent and non-tansparent banished her.

Artfull Dodger, do you not want to know the bad things that are going on around you for reasons of duping you and the rest of the population. How about the stopping of the privatization of Hydro, do you not think that was a wonderful event for the people of the province and the province itself. Now because of that event there have been hundreds of millions of dollars that have gone into the provincial treasuary as a result of Sue's great gift to us. There have been many, many other issues that Sue has spoken out on that no other politician would have touched with a 10 foot pole, but Sue did, and as a result, it has meant that we are a more informed public. What is wrong with being truthful?

Sue you have been a God Send to Newfoundland and Labrador, I feel sorry you have been hurt so badly by doing so. May God Bless You!

Anonymous said...

Artfull Dodger said.....

Yes we need people such as Ms Dyer to bring information into the light of day, on that we will agree. It is then up to such persons to provide the facts in a balanced manner so that the citizenry can come to its own conclusions.

I believe Sue is a big proponent of the lower Churchill power being used within the province for manufacturing and the like as opposed to selling power to other provinces or states. This sounds good but is it pratical. The lower churchill can provide power for many industries but where are these industries going to come from? We have seen the pulp and paper industry close plants in north america and set up plants in places such as china where the labour component is more to their liking. So the question may be, is the province willing to practically give the power to industry for a pitance in order to entice industry to set up in Labrador? Are people in this province willing to work for the comparable wage in china? Do people in this province honestly believe Alcan is going to move their operations from Quebec to Labrador? As an example, IOCC wants a further break on the power it uses for its operation in Labrador.

We have to ask these questions and be prepared to accept the honest answers folks!


Regards,

Artfull Dodger

Oliver Twist said...

Where do the industries come from for any place? That is the most stupid question I have ever heard. Every place on the planet started off without industy, the industry evolved, no differently, than other things in nature evolves.

For instance the people of a location discovered that they had a resource, they knew the resource was in great demand and products could be produced from that resource through primary, secondary and further processing, to add jobs and economies, to fill the demands of whoever required them, the people then decided they were going to utilize that resource to create industry in their place, the place that owned the resource. But first after discovering that they had the resource and that there were needs for the products that could be manufactured from the resource, they put the financing in place. That is how anything evolves in resource development. That is a very simplistic overview and it works.


If Yellowknive or Whitehorse or Siberia or Ontario can develop their resources and further process them to supply the demands of the world for that product so can Newfoundland and Labrador. And if all the required factors are in place, the financing will be secured as well. For anything that has ever been developed, there is always a certain amount of risk attached, so it will be no different for the Lower Churchill Project.

In the future please do not talk so stupidly. That is the reason the province of Newfoundland and Labrador has not been able to move forward with economies. Sometimes certain people use stupidty has a ploy to make us believe the risk is far greater than it is because no doubt that person has a personal interest in the resource. It is again the "me syndrome" not the "us syndrome".

Anonymous said...

Artfull dodger said....

Oliver, I assume you were responding to my post.

At any rate, A corporation will only set up and industry when it is proven a (healthy)profit can be made, and as most know, corporations these days are cutting back in any areas they can to maximize profits/satisfy shareholders. We are seeing that corporations are using cheap labour in other countries to do just that, moving their plants out of North America. Just look at any industry for evidence of this (paper, fishery, textiles etc.). I don't know of any corporation that would set up industry in this province without bargaining for concessions, be they reduced energy rates, reduced wages, reduced taxes etc.. So please don't shoot me, I'm just stating the cold hard facts.


Regards,

Artfull Dodger

Anonymous said...

Artfull Dodger - provinces are already clammoring for the Lower Churchill Hydro Energy . Quebec wants it, Ontario wants it and the Eastern Seaboard of the United States would love to have it. They are all craving the Lower Churchill Hydro Energy resource.

As far as I am concerned it has already been confirmed to be profitable. Quebec has been the recipient of 5800 Mega Watts of power from the Upper Churchill right next door and it is still craving the 2900 Mega Watts of Power that the Lower Churchill Project will produce. Quebec has been getting rich on the Upper Churchill project for the past 40 years and it is one of the provinces which is clammoring to get the Lower Churchill. By Joves, what more information do you need Artfull? Sometimes, somewhere we will have to take a little risk. Not to risk, we will lose, as we have so many times before.

Anonymous said...

Artfull Dodger said....

I think you are missing my point anon, I'm all for the developement of the lower churchill for export of power. My issue is with those who believe all the power from the lower churchill should be used in this province exclusively for industry. There is no possible way that enough industry could be created to use all of that power in the confines of this province. That we are dreaming in technicolor if we think that could ever be the case.

It would be marvelous if that were the case but we have to be view the potential of this project in reality.


Regards,

Artfull Dodger

Anonymous said...

Artfull - I think with the pressure on today's resources because of two of the world's most populated countries, China and India, emerging into to 21st century, with everyone desiring to own a car, television, stainless steel sink and all the other material things that Europeans and North Americans have been accustomed to for the past 50 years, the 2800 mega watts of power contained in the Lower Churchill, if it were advertised as being available to be exploited in Labrador to create industry in Labrador, would be bargained for in no time. After all the province of Newfoundland and Labrador has the time on its hands to do this project properly. The province will advertise the energy, get interested parties, negotiate contracts, of course, subject to the project being able to be financed properly, and that is all anyone holding such a resource would do or all that they could do. All we have to do is follow the pattern of all other contracts that have been negotiated in the world. Why would it be any different for Newfoundland and Labrador? ( I can't see how such a wonderful coveted resource would not be able to be financed, if the contracts were in place to utilize it.) With the time to put everything in place, why would it not come to fruition? Why do we, Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, always under estimate what we can do?

The Premier of this province is doing a wonderful job of getting our debt under control by paying down the debt, and that augers well for this province. Today's announcement that the Public Service pensions have now been 85 per cent funded is a wonderful feat, and to boot the province is saving a $27 million dollar interest rate differential between the unfunded liability and the funded liability the province just negotiated, the money freed up can work in other areas. Any time the Premier can pay off debt, with a lower interest rate, there are always savings and such moves are very prudent in my estimation. Of course, the financial institution holding that debt doesn't want the province to do that since it is less money in its coffers.

Anonymous said...

Artfull dodger said....

Unfortunately we see nickel and iron ore leaving the province (labrador) without any secondary processing taking place, and I don't foresee any change in this set of circumstances to be honest.

The only industry I see in the near future is a possible second refinery in the Come by Chance area, and then there is the proposed hydromet facility, but that can't be considered secondary processing since the nickel will be spread out to different manufacturing plants for various products.

Its difficult to imagine new industries flourishing in Canada when we see jobs in the auto industry dissappearing in Ontario, and jobs in the pulp and paper industry dissappearing, for example.

Many Canadian and American manufacturing jobs are going to countries where labour is cheaper, such as Mexico, China etc.. Based on this, i don't see how this province would have any hope of attracting new industry without offering major concessions.

Regards,

Artfull dodger

Anonymous said...

Ontario is running short of clean energy. They will soon have to turn to nuclear or coal. With so much emphasis put on taking care of our environment, I think there is no energy like hydroelectric. Coal energy is too polluting and nuclear is too dangerous.

The pulp and paper industry is disappearing because the electronic age is upon us and that technology lessens the need for more paper.

As for the automobile industry, with emphasis put on smaller and hybrid cars, the automobile industry will have to retool completely in Ontario if they are to compete with the Asian car industry. That is where the stress comes from with that industry. If industry has to do that, they will likely move on to some location which has energy and start from scratch.

As for the Lower Churchill’s 2800 mega watts of clean hydroelectric energy, it should pose no big problem in having industry come to Labrador to utilize that energy. There will be billions of stainless steel pots, pans and sinks, and many other items, smaller than cars needed to fulfill the need in the two most populous countries of the world, China and India which are entering the 21st century, and has a need for many items for its transition into modernity. The energy in Labrador can be utilized to manufacture some of those items. I am sure if the message, that a potential of 2800 mega watts of hydroelectric power is available, was sent across the world, there would be a lot of interest in that clean energy and there would be many takers who would only be too willing to utilize it in Labrador.