New marine freight-rate structure raising concerns

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The Nunatsiavut government is calling on the provincial government to reverse its decision to implement a new marine freight-rate structure this year. “We have received many calls from individuals who are shocked, surprised and upset over having to pay higher-than-expected rates,” Nunatsiavut First Minister Darryl Shiwak said in a news release  Monday. “In some cases, the increase is more than 200 per cent over last year’s rates. This is totally unacceptable.”

Shiwak said the provincial government should have carried out an open and transparent consultation process before changing the rate structure. He said the new formula is causing unnecessary hardship and grief to those who are totally dependent on marine services.

“We were of the understanding that all rates would increase by 10 per cent, but this is clearly not the case in some instances,” Shiwak said. He has written provincial Transportation and Works Minister Paul Davis to express the Nunatsiavut Government’s concerns. “I have asked the minister to reverse the decision on the new rate structure to allow for an open and transparent consultation process, and to provide our respective officials an opportunity to explore options for 2014 and beyond,” Shiwak said.

In the meantime, he said, the 2012 rates should be put back in place until the issue can be resolved.

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