Ferry increases hold truckers hostage, Atlantic Canada group says

By Land Line staff | Tuesday, April 01, 2014

The price to use the truck ferry between Newfoundland and Labrador increased on Tuesday, April 1, and truckers are not happy about it. The ferry service is a federally owned and operated business, part of the Trans-Canada Highway connecting Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador.

The Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association laid into the government on Tuesday, saying the fee increases and substandard service are holding truckers hostage.

“Marine Atlantic is holding Newfoundland and Labrador hostage with this latest increase above the inflation rate,” Executive Director Jean-Marc Picard said in a statement. “There is no alternative when shipping goods. Coupled with higher costs for fuel and equipment, truckers will need to pass these higher prices on to their customers. This will be reflected in the cost of every product that Newfoundland and Labrador residents buy.”

The government’s Crown corporation that operates the ferry service increased rates 3 percent for the 2014-2015 season. Fees have increased 11 percent since 2012.

“We are calling on Marine Atlantic to revisit these rate increases and consult with its users to reach a reasonable, sustainable solution,” Picard said.

According to the trucking group, the government has canceled 23 ferry trips since January, leading to long lines and backups to trucking services.

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