A Request for Proposals (RFP) promised by the Department of Transportation and Works for a new marine service for the north coast of Labrador has yet to be issued, Torngat Mountains MHA Randy Edmunds said today in a news release.
Edmunds said that in the last provincial budget, government committed to issuing an RFP leading to a contract for the development of a 15-year comprehensive passenger, vehicle and freight service, starting in 2016, for both the Strait of Belle Isle and the north coast of Labrador. The new service was to include a larger roll-on roll-off vessel that would meet the needs of the region.
Edmunds noted that, presently, the north coast is being serviced by the MV Astron and the MV Northern Ranger. Over the past two years, the MV Northern Ranger has encountered many mechanical problems resulting in delays and a lack of dependable service.
“This new marine service is scheduled to begin in 2016 and we are still waiting for the RFP to be issued,” Edmunds said. “It’s unrealistic to expect a new service to be in place in two years.
“This shipping season has been another nightmare for residents of Nunatsiavut, Natuashish and southern Labrador, with many interruptions in passenger and freight service.”