Bell Island loses both ferries

Dave Bartlett
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Political parties point fingers at each other in House

While the government and Liberal Opposition played the blame game in the House of Assembly Tuesday, Wabana Mayor Gary Gosine said the bottom line is Bell Island is once again without ferry service.

Both ferries which take people between Bell Island and Portugal Cove are currently being repaired because of issues with their thrusters.

The ferry Nonia is framed by crab pots as it approaches the dock in Portugal Cove recently. File photo by Gary Hebbard/The Telegram

While the government and Liberal Opposition played the blame game in the House of Assembly Tuesday, Wabana Mayor Gary Gosine said the bottom line is Bell Island is once again without ferry service.

Both ferries which take people between Bell Island and Portugal Cove are currently being repaired because of issues with their thrusters.

On the weekend, a bow thruster on the Flanders broke and the ferry was taken out of service for repairs.

On Tuesday morning, The Nonia was also taken out of service after a rope was found wrapped around one of its thrusters.

"It's outrageous," Gosine told The Telegram Tuesday afternoon.

"As of right now, as we speak, we're (in) no different a situation then we were at 8:25 this morning," he continued. "I'm down here now at the ferry terminal. The place is blocked, but nobody knows anything (that's) going on."

Gosine was also perplexed about how a rope became entangled in the Nonia's thruster.

He then told a couple of anecdotes he's heard recently about how residents of Bell Island have been affected by disruptions in the ferry service.

Gosine said he had a call from a woman in a wheelchair who had tickets to see Daniel O'Donnell - the Irish singer - at Mile One Tuesday evening.

He said the woman had front row seats, purchased seven months ago, and had a hotel room booked in St. John's for after the show.

But now she can't go.

Last Friday, another woman who just finished chemotherapy and was returning home to Bell Island, but had to spend the night on a cot in an office at the Portugal Cove terminal because she couldn't get on a ferry.

While Gosine kept an eye on the lineups at the ferry dock, Liberal MHA Roland Butler and Transportation Minister Tom Hedderson sparred over the state of the province's ferry fleet during question period.

Hedderson accused the last Liberal government of neglecting provincial ferries.

"This government inherited a fleet that is an embarrassment to any jurisdiction in North America, let alone in Canada, and I say to them, that this government has responded. This year alone, $55 million to try ... to make good on 15 years of neglect on that side of the House," he said, his voice raising in anger over the taunts directed at the Liberals from the backbenches.

"This government's been in power for seven years," Butler said. "It's time to stop laying the blame on someone else, when they had budgets that increased as high as $6 billion and $7 billion, Mr. Speaker," pointed out Butler.

Gosine was not impressed by the bickering.

"Where did that get anyone today, over here?" he said.

The mayor suggested both sides are equally to blame.

The Flanders is expected to be back in service within a day or two. There was no word by deadline n how long the Nonia may be out of service.

dbartlett@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Flanders, Portugal Cove terminal

Geographic location: Bell Island, Wabana, Portugal Cove St. John's North America Canada

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Recent comments

  • Watcher
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    Easy solution... just start charging people more to use the ferry. I mean A LOT more. If they don't want to pay for it, then don't live on, or go to, Bell Island.

  • Phillip
    July 02, 2010 - 13:32

    If you choose to live on an island there are risks like interruptions to transportation and isolation.

    There are no gaurantees in life.

  • love for Nl.
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    I just don't understand how anyone can be treated this way?,Why isn't there something in place for these eventualities?,Next election folks!!

  • C
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    You take your chances when you decide to live in a place that is only reachable by ferry. Stuff happens, you just got to deal with it. I don't care if you grew up there, its time to leave if its such a pain. And seriously, tickets to a concert? Come on.

  • Harold
    July 02, 2010 - 13:27

    I'm tired of hearing these people complain about missing concerts, hotel bookings, etc. If you live on Bell Island, you should expect these things to happen from time to time.

    Our ferry service is never going to change. I stopped praying it would get better. So if you don't like it, stop complaining and move in town. These are some of the things you have to deal with when you live on an island. It's not rocket science.

  • alibean
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    Wouldn't it be cheaper to move them all out of there

  • mike
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    what is the cost to run two boats from bell island every day for one year.i am sure it would be cheaper to relocate after all there is no work nor will there ever be.

  • Jerome
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    One of 2 things need to occur here. Either the government steps up to the plate and goes beyond basic services and purchases / operates a decnt ferry system or give every family a half million dollars each to resettle.

  • former Bellislander
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    I grew up on the Island. I moved for the simple fact of the boat racket. Everyone knows that there is nothing going to be done about the ferry service. Its been like it now for years. Mayor Gosine will just do enough to stop the bickering for a bit until the boats breaks down again. Then it will be another uproar. But hopefully by then there will be a better speaker for Bell Island and they will have better results. The amount of money it costs the government to be fixing the boats they could of had five bridges built to Bell Island.
    And Mayor Gosine you could not have come up with a better story to give the media than someone wanting to get to a concert. PLEASE. What about all the people who could not get home to their families or people whom had babysitters and that could not get home to their children. And with the rope. It was a mistake from one of the mates. So don't try to point fingers to blame someone else for that.
    I hope the people of Bell Island gets this ongoing problem settled. Maybe a toll bridge is a awsome idea. Whats the difference in paying to go on a boat or a bridge.

  • Pierre Neary
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    Hedderson accused the last Liberal government of neglecting provincial ferries.
    If this is the best Minister Hedderson can come up then he should be ashamed of himself. Time to step down. Total incompetence. Absolutely pathetic at best. Mayor Gosine has a right to be frustrated. Where is Minister Whalen hiding ?? More of the silent majority in the HOA I guess. These people deserve allot better service than they are getting. I am mortified when I read some of the comments made by fellow NLers on resettlement. Looks like the Premiers dream of resettling the entire province to St. Johns is working.

  • Christine
    July 02, 2010 - 13:22

    The Bell Island ferry is the only tie between the Island and the mainland.
    Yes,its an inconvenience when its not operating, but the people of Bell Island are tough people and they have learned over the years to deal with situations like this.
    To the Residents of Bell Island, fight the good fight & DO NOT as some people suggested....Reloaction!
    Home is where the Heart is & Bell Island is the Heart & home to all who live there, who have lived there,who will retire there(I know I will retire there)....
    God Bless the people of Bell Island!

  • Joey
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    It really is a catch-22. Our current economy here is a shadow of what it once was and for many people, residents included the outlook is pretty grim.
    We aren't a bustling community anymore in part, due to an unreliable ferry service. But yet we have an unreliable form of transportation to the island because we have an economy thats slowly getting worse and worse.
    Sure there are many pros and cons to all of those ideas: A bridge, relocation, another ferry.

    But after all, this is Newfoundland. Aren't we always complaining about people leaving towns, rural communities, and the province itself? If something productive was in place on the island that made it profitable and a better contributing community, then those ideas would certainly warrant a second look.
    Right now I don't think there is any good solution thats both feasible and productive to everyone involved.

  • MOVE
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    Gosine was also perplexed about how a rope became entangled in the Nonia's thruster.


    Really?
    Your perplexed?

    An overpayed unionized government worker, (oxymoron alert) likely a Bell island native, was handling the rope. Perhaps you can find some way to blame Danny for this.

    Time to re-settle the crowd on Bell island, please do it now Mr. Williams.
    Or maybe another idea would be to have St. John's amalgamate Bell Island, that would be fun to watch. Any heritage sites over there?

  • Leo
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    Sounds like resettlement's the answer here!

  • show me the money
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    David Wilson from St. Johns, NL writes: The cost to construct the Confederation Bridge was 1 Billion Dollars to benefit a population of 140,000. The population of Bell Island is 2,850 (2006 census) and dropping at a rate of 50 per year. A bridge to Bell Island is the most laughable idea I have ever heard. It would be cheaper to pay each family a million dollars and call it a day.
    ===================================

    Give them a million bucks each and they would blow it in a year on gambling, booze or drugs.

    They would probably decline the money anyway because it would fool up their social assistance.

  • David
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    The cost to construct the Confederation Bridge was 1 Billion Dollars to benefit a population of 140,000. The population of Bell Island is 2,850 (2006 census) and dropping at a rate of 50 per year. A bridge to Bell Island is the most laughable idea I have ever heard. It would be cheaper to pay each family a million dollars and call it a day.

  • r
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    I like the bridge idea.

  • A part-time Bell Islander
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    The frustrating thing about this whole situation is that it's affecting the 20% of Bell Islanders who are actually working, non-welfare-collecting, contributing citizens. How frustrating must it be to make the decision to work instead of turn to welfare (like 80% of Bell island), and in return, have to be the ones to put up with all of this?
    Sure, it's easy to say RELOCATE , but this is their HOME. Nice try, but it's not that simple. They deserve a running boat just like you and I deserve a drivable road.

  • tina
    July 02, 2010 - 13:17

    If the government would provide a very reliable ferry for even just the commuters, it would motivate more residents of Bell Island who are currently unemployed to seek employment in St. John's and surrounding areas. Purchasing a new ferry, wouldn't that be a good enough reason alone. I myself went to Bell Island a few weeks ago and the line up for the ferry on Friday evening was horendous and apparently this is the situation they are faced with every Friday. This is where the government needs to get the details of the ferry's usage and needs, put in a plan of action, and rectify the problem. This is a hard situation for Bell Island commuters to have to face. It is predictable but at the same time unpredictable. I am a business owner in St. John's for the past 15 years and I often wondered myself, if there was a reliable service for transportation from Bell Island would I consider moving back there myself.

  • Sea-Dog
    July 02, 2010 - 13:16

    Three Things of note
    #1 If you live on an island be prepared to put up with the inconvenience
    #2 Hey come on lets be kind to people in wheelchairs, no need for the azz-holes to comment about wheelchair users
    #3 What else can you expect when the Gov. is running a fleet of floating JUNK under minister WHO ?? haha

  • b
    July 02, 2010 - 13:15

    Understand the inconvenience. The fact the woman is in a wheelchair going to a concert does not make it anymore important than (someone else) going to the same concert. It is a chance you take living where you live depending on mechanical equipment to transport you.

  • Chuck
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    If my car breaks down, nobody pays to fix it for me. If the people who use the ferry on a daily basis want a new ferry or upgraded ferry, they should pay for it. It's ridiculous that people complain about the ferry service every year. MOVE OFF THE ISLAND PEOPLE. It isn't exactly Bermuda!

  • dawn
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    why not just build a bridge..seems like everywhere else can do it , in a far further distance...it seems like this has always been a problem with the ferries ..even if there was a toll to go back and forth ..the toll would help with maintaining it and sanding it in the winter

  • steve
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    i think there should be something done this is mad i was in the cove the other day for 2 and a half hours waiting to go see my mom on bell island i think its time for the goverment to stop waisting money on buildings and fix the boats and the roads they dont mind taking our money why not give people something back

  • Carol
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    It bothers me a great deal when I read the comments of people who think they have all the answers. If you are so smart why are you not in the political game. Your CHOICE of where you wish to live is your own & people should respect that. Because we have to be a part of the ferry system for transportation is no different then having to upgrade & maintain the roads in NL. There are many communities in our province that has a one way in and out for the people living there which cost money to maintain, are we asking these people to relocate. I don't think so. I am from Bell Island & damm proud of it, but currently living overseas & when I finish here I will be going HOME. Yes the ferry service will always be a problem until the government finally realizes that as Bell Islanders we are not going anywhere & the situation needs to FIXED not given a BANDAID. We have to pay for the use of the ferry service plus pay our taxes & as users of the highways you just get in the vehicle and drive, but guess what someone has to maintain the roads. Maybe if the maintenance was taken away you would be talking from the other side of the mouth.
    Bell Island in it's day contributed to St. John's in a big way. People need to check the history & stop suggesting resettlement as a solution. Maybe everyone outside the overpass needs to be resettled to St. John's. What would all those complainers do if the Federal Government withdrew the ferry service on the Gulf. Think about it.

  • TooFunny
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    I wonder how many of these comments are coming from people that complain about Marine Atlantic.

  • Oh the irony
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    Try replacing 'Bell Island Ferry' with Newfoundland Ferry. Many of the comments made here apply to the North Sydney / Port aux Basques run. I wonder how many of those begrudging those that live on Bell Island would change their position to one of support. You're on a slippery slope folks - think about it.

  • Patrick
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    Relocation. Problem solved.

  • Frank
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    People live there because they feel it's too expensive to live in St. John's and surrounding area. They expect the rest of us tax payers should keep supporting a link to the rock . You can't have your cake and eat it too! Don't expect the same services as the rest of us by trying to save that last nickel at our expense. dems the breaks for living there. Stop sooking....

  • Thelma
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    It's not like Bell Island is that precious people need to live on it - it's a broken industry town - the iron ore and the war are over.


    It's not like Bell Island is any distance away from St. John's - relocation would be no big deal for it's inhabitants - it's across a click of water.


    I cannot see why people NEED to live there other than they WANT to. When it's a WANT and not a NEED it's frivolous and should not be the priority of this administration. Any good businessperson can tell you that. Our premier will straighten you out if anything is unclear.


    If Bell Island had an industry and was a productive, contributing member of this province, rather than a liability or money pit, I would be all for a permanent link or improved ferry service - but it's not.

  • J
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    This is a problem that seems to surface from year to year and doesn't seem to want to go away. Has anyone ever considered the cost to maintain these ferries, wharf upgrades, fuel, labour costs etc.? The Confederation Bridge was built and joined Nova Scotia to PEI but it doesn't seem like anyone here wants to entertain the idea of connecting Bell Island with the rest of the world. A bridge would pay for itself in just a few short years...even if it was a toll bridge. Just think of all the residents on BI who would now be able to commute much easier to town every day for work, many more opportunities would open for the youth, people might be more inclined to visit the mines there instead of waiting for the ferry, property values would increase, and maybe less people would be sucking up the social service payments. The economy there is non existant primarily due to the fact they are isolated....but roughly 3 km away (Go Figure!) No pun intended.....'But Build a Bridge and Get Over It'.

  • cookie
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    if the lady bought tickets 7 months ago she should have stayed in st johns close to the concert if she didn;t want to miss it......just because she will miss the concert....do u want marine altantic to send the vessel smallwood for her....also what does being in a wheelchair have to do with missing a concert

  • Chuck
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    Maybe it's time to look at relocation?

  • John Smith
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    Pierre, why would the Premier want to relocate everyon to St. John's when his own riding is on the west coast? With the hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars that are spent west of the overpass every year, and still, it is never enough. There are two new ferries being built right now in Marystown, 55 million being spent on ferries this year. What Mr. Hedderson was referring to was after the liberals ran the service into the ground, after 15 years of complete neglect, it will take a few years to get it all back in order.As for the irony, I think there is no comparison. NL is a have province, rich in resources, with a very high GDP. While Bell Island is at best a bedroom community outside of St. John's, that contributes little if anything to gov. coffers.

  • bill
    July 02, 2010 - 13:10

    Well I guess it's the danny williams fault that a rope got tangled around it's thrusters.

  • CFA
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    Aaah, the friendly, generous folks in Newfoundland...

  • Saucy Face
    July 02, 2010 - 13:08

    I've never been to Bell Ilsand, but this situation is bloody ridiculous!

    It's time now for everyone to get up in arms and support these residents in their plight for a reliable ferry system so they don't have the stess of this nonsense every time they try to leave or return home. They deserve nothing less.

  • Watcher
    July 01, 2010 - 20:23

    Easy solution... just start charging people more to use the ferry. I mean A LOT more. If they don't want to pay for it, then don't live on, or go to, Bell Island.

  • Phillip
    July 01, 2010 - 20:21

    If you choose to live on an island there are risks like interruptions to transportation and isolation.

    There are no gaurantees in life.

  • love for Nl.
    July 01, 2010 - 20:20

    I just don't understand how anyone can be treated this way?,Why isn't there something in place for these eventualities?,Next election folks!!

  • C
    July 01, 2010 - 20:20

    You take your chances when you decide to live in a place that is only reachable by ferry. Stuff happens, you just got to deal with it. I don't care if you grew up there, its time to leave if its such a pain. And seriously, tickets to a concert? Come on.

  • Harold
    July 01, 2010 - 20:15

    I'm tired of hearing these people complain about missing concerts, hotel bookings, etc. If you live on Bell Island, you should expect these things to happen from time to time.

    Our ferry service is never going to change. I stopped praying it would get better. So if you don't like it, stop complaining and move in town. These are some of the things you have to deal with when you live on an island. It's not rocket science.

  • alibean
    July 01, 2010 - 20:08

    Wouldn't it be cheaper to move them all out of there

  • mike
    July 01, 2010 - 20:07

    what is the cost to run two boats from bell island every day for one year.i am sure it would be cheaper to relocate after all there is no work nor will there ever be.

  • Jerome
    July 01, 2010 - 20:07

    One of 2 things need to occur here. Either the government steps up to the plate and goes beyond basic services and purchases / operates a decnt ferry system or give every family a half million dollars each to resettle.

  • former Bellislander
    July 01, 2010 - 20:06

    I grew up on the Island. I moved for the simple fact of the boat racket. Everyone knows that there is nothing going to be done about the ferry service. Its been like it now for years. Mayor Gosine will just do enough to stop the bickering for a bit until the boats breaks down again. Then it will be another uproar. But hopefully by then there will be a better speaker for Bell Island and they will have better results. The amount of money it costs the government to be fixing the boats they could of had five bridges built to Bell Island.
    And Mayor Gosine you could not have come up with a better story to give the media than someone wanting to get to a concert. PLEASE. What about all the people who could not get home to their families or people whom had babysitters and that could not get home to their children. And with the rope. It was a mistake from one of the mates. So don't try to point fingers to blame someone else for that.
    I hope the people of Bell Island gets this ongoing problem settled. Maybe a toll bridge is a awsome idea. Whats the difference in paying to go on a boat or a bridge.

  • Christine
    July 01, 2010 - 20:06

    The Bell Island ferry is the only tie between the Island and the mainland.
    Yes,its an inconvenience when its not operating, but the people of Bell Island are tough people and they have learned over the years to deal with situations like this.
    To the Residents of Bell Island, fight the good fight & DO NOT as some people suggested....Reloaction!
    Home is where the Heart is & Bell Island is the Heart & home to all who live there, who have lived there,who will retire there(I know I will retire there)....
    God Bless the people of Bell Island!

  • Pierre Neary
    July 01, 2010 - 20:06

    Hedderson accused the last Liberal government of neglecting provincial ferries.
    If this is the best Minister Hedderson can come up then he should be ashamed of himself. Time to step down. Total incompetence. Absolutely pathetic at best. Mayor Gosine has a right to be frustrated. Where is Minister Whalen hiding ?? More of the silent majority in the HOA I guess. These people deserve allot better service than they are getting. I am mortified when I read some of the comments made by fellow NLers on resettlement. Looks like the Premiers dream of resettling the entire province to St. Johns is working.

  • Joey
    July 01, 2010 - 20:04

    It really is a catch-22. Our current economy here is a shadow of what it once was and for many people, residents included the outlook is pretty grim.
    We aren't a bustling community anymore in part, due to an unreliable ferry service. But yet we have an unreliable form of transportation to the island because we have an economy thats slowly getting worse and worse.
    Sure there are many pros and cons to all of those ideas: A bridge, relocation, another ferry.

    But after all, this is Newfoundland. Aren't we always complaining about people leaving towns, rural communities, and the province itself? If something productive was in place on the island that made it profitable and a better contributing community, then those ideas would certainly warrant a second look.
    Right now I don't think there is any good solution thats both feasible and productive to everyone involved.

  • MOVE
    July 01, 2010 - 20:04

    Gosine was also perplexed about how a rope became entangled in the Nonia's thruster.


    Really?
    Your perplexed?

    An overpayed unionized government worker, (oxymoron alert) likely a Bell island native, was handling the rope. Perhaps you can find some way to blame Danny for this.

    Time to re-settle the crowd on Bell island, please do it now Mr. Williams.
    Or maybe another idea would be to have St. John's amalgamate Bell Island, that would be fun to watch. Any heritage sites over there?

  • Leo
    July 01, 2010 - 20:03

    Sounds like resettlement's the answer here!

  • show me the money
    July 01, 2010 - 20:01

    David Wilson from St. Johns, NL writes: The cost to construct the Confederation Bridge was 1 Billion Dollars to benefit a population of 140,000. The population of Bell Island is 2,850 (2006 census) and dropping at a rate of 50 per year. A bridge to Bell Island is the most laughable idea I have ever heard. It would be cheaper to pay each family a million dollars and call it a day.
    ===================================

    Give them a million bucks each and they would blow it in a year on gambling, booze or drugs.

    They would probably decline the money anyway because it would fool up their social assistance.

  • David
    July 01, 2010 - 20:00

    The cost to construct the Confederation Bridge was 1 Billion Dollars to benefit a population of 140,000. The population of Bell Island is 2,850 (2006 census) and dropping at a rate of 50 per year. A bridge to Bell Island is the most laughable idea I have ever heard. It would be cheaper to pay each family a million dollars and call it a day.

  • r
    July 01, 2010 - 20:00

    I like the bridge idea.

  • A part-time Bell Islander
    July 01, 2010 - 19:59

    The frustrating thing about this whole situation is that it's affecting the 20% of Bell Islanders who are actually working, non-welfare-collecting, contributing citizens. How frustrating must it be to make the decision to work instead of turn to welfare (like 80% of Bell island), and in return, have to be the ones to put up with all of this?
    Sure, it's easy to say RELOCATE , but this is their HOME. Nice try, but it's not that simple. They deserve a running boat just like you and I deserve a drivable road.

  • tina
    July 01, 2010 - 19:58

    If the government would provide a very reliable ferry for even just the commuters, it would motivate more residents of Bell Island who are currently unemployed to seek employment in St. John's and surrounding areas. Purchasing a new ferry, wouldn't that be a good enough reason alone. I myself went to Bell Island a few weeks ago and the line up for the ferry on Friday evening was horendous and apparently this is the situation they are faced with every Friday. This is where the government needs to get the details of the ferry's usage and needs, put in a plan of action, and rectify the problem. This is a hard situation for Bell Island commuters to have to face. It is predictable but at the same time unpredictable. I am a business owner in St. John's for the past 15 years and I often wondered myself, if there was a reliable service for transportation from Bell Island would I consider moving back there myself.

  • Sea-Dog
    July 01, 2010 - 19:55

    Three Things of note
    #1 If you live on an island be prepared to put up with the inconvenience
    #2 Hey come on lets be kind to people in wheelchairs, no need for the azz-holes to comment about wheelchair users
    #3 What else can you expect when the Gov. is running a fleet of floating JUNK under minister WHO ?? haha

  • b
    July 01, 2010 - 19:55

    Understand the inconvenience. The fact the woman is in a wheelchair going to a concert does not make it anymore important than (someone else) going to the same concert. It is a chance you take living where you live depending on mechanical equipment to transport you.

  • Chuck
    July 01, 2010 - 19:54

    If my car breaks down, nobody pays to fix it for me. If the people who use the ferry on a daily basis want a new ferry or upgraded ferry, they should pay for it. It's ridiculous that people complain about the ferry service every year. MOVE OFF THE ISLAND PEOPLE. It isn't exactly Bermuda!

  • dawn
    July 01, 2010 - 19:53

    why not just build a bridge..seems like everywhere else can do it , in a far further distance...it seems like this has always been a problem with the ferries ..even if there was a toll to go back and forth ..the toll would help with maintaining it and sanding it in the winter

  • steve
    July 01, 2010 - 19:52

    i think there should be something done this is mad i was in the cove the other day for 2 and a half hours waiting to go see my mom on bell island i think its time for the goverment to stop waisting money on buildings and fix the boats and the roads they dont mind taking our money why not give people something back

  • Carol
    July 01, 2010 - 19:50

    It bothers me a great deal when I read the comments of people who think they have all the answers. If you are so smart why are you not in the political game. Your CHOICE of where you wish to live is your own & people should respect that. Because we have to be a part of the ferry system for transportation is no different then having to upgrade & maintain the roads in NL. There are many communities in our province that has a one way in and out for the people living there which cost money to maintain, are we asking these people to relocate. I don't think so. I am from Bell Island & damm proud of it, but currently living overseas & when I finish here I will be going HOME. Yes the ferry service will always be a problem until the government finally realizes that as Bell Islanders we are not going anywhere & the situation needs to FIXED not given a BANDAID. We have to pay for the use of the ferry service plus pay our taxes & as users of the highways you just get in the vehicle and drive, but guess what someone has to maintain the roads. Maybe if the maintenance was taken away you would be talking from the other side of the mouth.
    Bell Island in it's day contributed to St. John's in a big way. People need to check the history & stop suggesting resettlement as a solution. Maybe everyone outside the overpass needs to be resettled to St. John's. What would all those complainers do if the Federal Government withdrew the ferry service on the Gulf. Think about it.

  • TooFunny
    July 01, 2010 - 19:49

    I wonder how many of these comments are coming from people that complain about Marine Atlantic.

  • Oh the irony
    July 01, 2010 - 19:49

    Try replacing 'Bell Island Ferry' with Newfoundland Ferry. Many of the comments made here apply to the North Sydney / Port aux Basques run. I wonder how many of those begrudging those that live on Bell Island would change their position to one of support. You're on a slippery slope folks - think about it.

  • Patrick
    July 01, 2010 - 19:49

    Relocation. Problem solved.

  • Frank
    July 01, 2010 - 19:49

    People live there because they feel it's too expensive to live in St. John's and surrounding area. They expect the rest of us tax payers should keep supporting a link to the rock . You can't have your cake and eat it too! Don't expect the same services as the rest of us by trying to save that last nickel at our expense. dems the breaks for living there. Stop sooking....

  • Thelma
    July 01, 2010 - 19:48

    It's not like Bell Island is that precious people need to live on it - it's a broken industry town - the iron ore and the war are over.


    It's not like Bell Island is any distance away from St. John's - relocation would be no big deal for it's inhabitants - it's across a click of water.


    I cannot see why people NEED to live there other than they WANT to. When it's a WANT and not a NEED it's frivolous and should not be the priority of this administration. Any good businessperson can tell you that. Our premier will straighten you out if anything is unclear.


    If Bell Island had an industry and was a productive, contributing member of this province, rather than a liability or money pit, I would be all for a permanent link or improved ferry service - but it's not.

  • J
    July 01, 2010 - 19:48

    This is a problem that seems to surface from year to year and doesn't seem to want to go away. Has anyone ever considered the cost to maintain these ferries, wharf upgrades, fuel, labour costs etc.? The Confederation Bridge was built and joined Nova Scotia to PEI but it doesn't seem like anyone here wants to entertain the idea of connecting Bell Island with the rest of the world. A bridge would pay for itself in just a few short years...even if it was a toll bridge. Just think of all the residents on BI who would now be able to commute much easier to town every day for work, many more opportunities would open for the youth, people might be more inclined to visit the mines there instead of waiting for the ferry, property values would increase, and maybe less people would be sucking up the social service payments. The economy there is non existant primarily due to the fact they are isolated....but roughly 3 km away (Go Figure!) No pun intended.....'But Build a Bridge and Get Over It'.

  • cookie
    July 01, 2010 - 19:48

    if the lady bought tickets 7 months ago she should have stayed in st johns close to the concert if she didn;t want to miss it......just because she will miss the concert....do u want marine altantic to send the vessel smallwood for her....also what does being in a wheelchair have to do with missing a concert

  • Chuck
    July 01, 2010 - 19:47

    Maybe it's time to look at relocation?

  • John Smith
    July 01, 2010 - 19:46

    Pierre, why would the Premier want to relocate everyon to St. John's when his own riding is on the west coast? With the hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars that are spent west of the overpass every year, and still, it is never enough. There are two new ferries being built right now in Marystown, 55 million being spent on ferries this year. What Mr. Hedderson was referring to was after the liberals ran the service into the ground, after 15 years of complete neglect, it will take a few years to get it all back in order.As for the irony, I think there is no comparison. NL is a have province, rich in resources, with a very high GDP. While Bell Island is at best a bedroom community outside of St. John's, that contributes little if anything to gov. coffers.

  • bill
    July 01, 2010 - 19:46

    Well I guess it's the danny williams fault that a rope got tangled around it's thrusters.

  • CFA
    July 01, 2010 - 19:45

    Aaah, the friendly, generous folks in Newfoundland...

  • Saucy Face
    July 01, 2010 - 19:43

    I've never been to Bell Ilsand, but this situation is bloody ridiculous!

    It's time now for everyone to get up in arms and support these residents in their plight for a reliable ferry system so they don't have the stess of this nonsense every time they try to leave or return home. They deserve nothing less.