New vessel needed for Bell Island ferry service: Opposition

Staff ~ The Telegram
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The Opposition Liberals are urging the provincial government to invest unused money in the vessel replacement strategy into a new ferry for the Bell Island ferry service.
Transportation critic Roland Butler said the service deserves a priority spot in the strategy.
Butler noted the government's 2006 Vessel Replacement Strategy identified Bell Island as a priority for a vessel replacement since it was justified for economic reasons.
"Here we are four years later and we learn in this year's Estimates Committee that Bell Island is nowhere near the top of the priority list," Butler said. "How can government justify de-prioritizing a ferry route utilized by 500-600 commuters per day and one that is affected by so many disruptions?"
Butler noted it appears that over two years $49 million went into the strategy and government only used $10 million of that amount.
"It is one thing to say you are going to spend money to upgrade service, but if the money stays in the bank, it cannot do the job it was deemed to fix," she said. "I understand the minister has committed to better communications with the Bell Island users committee, which is a step in the right direction. For the longer-term, however, I am urging government to reinstate Bell Island on the priority list. The people and the economy of Bell Island deserve nothing less than this measure."

Organizations: Estimates Committee, Bell Island users committee

Geographic location: Bell Island

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Recent comments

  • Tina
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    This question is for the comment just made by MOVE
    What IQ do you have?

  • Patrick
    July 02, 2010 - 13:27

    Quadruple the ferry rate and use the extra revenue to pay for the new ferry. I am tired of supplementing their only way of life known.

  • Concerned Resident
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    Very well said! Glad to see someone out there is looking out for us over on Bell Island and understands how important the Ferry system is to us, even if it is the oposition. Let's get those Conservatives on the move and finally get something done about this atrocious Ferry system!!

  • MOVE
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    Time for a relocation strategy.

    Git er done Danny

  • PIerre Neary
    July 02, 2010 - 13:20

    MHA Butler is right. Ministers Hedderson and Whalen has proven to be imcompetent over this issue. 49 million went into the strategy and only 10 used ?? Sounds like the same kind of logic the MMSB uses.

  • Donny
    July 02, 2010 - 13:15

    I would rather the government spent the money on a few more golf courses than a Bell Island ferry. What did the handful of residents on the island miss when both ferries were down? A game of bingo in the cove? Give me a break and relocate!

  • Tina
    July 02, 2010 - 13:14

    The residents of Bell Island I am sure will be very pleased with this news. It will be money well spent and a relief for everyone involved. Now that the government are paying attention, start looking at the schedule of the ferry and make adjustments where needed to keep the lineup down which will mean either putting more staff on the ferries or changing the schedule to be more accommodating. This is the best news Bell Island has heard in years.

  • bill
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    why should they get a new one before someone else. I think it has tio be for a bunch of communities not just Bell Island

  • DB
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    So Plerre what you are saying is blow 39 million on a ferry for what 500 or so people that makes it 78000 dollars per person approx that is managing the provinces money well don't you think.

  • Lorraine
    July 02, 2010 - 13:08

    As a resident of Bell Island I urge the Provincial Government to set their priorities in placing Bell Island on the top priority list for a New Ferry.

    Bell Island residents deserve better service. Many people who commute on a daily basis has had much disruption in their work schedule this year due to the aging vessels. Ferry Service is the only way of life known to the residents of Bell Island and basically it is their highway. To better ensure safety first and foremost we deserve a safe mode of transportation.

    The money is there so spend it wisely on a new ferry not more upgrades to an old aging fleet of ships.

    Bell Island Residents deserves better service.

  • Tina
    July 01, 2010 - 20:23

    This question is for the comment just made by MOVE
    What IQ do you have?

  • Patrick
    July 01, 2010 - 20:15

    Quadruple the ferry rate and use the extra revenue to pay for the new ferry. I am tired of supplementing their only way of life known.

  • Concerned Resident
    July 01, 2010 - 20:05

    Very well said! Glad to see someone out there is looking out for us over on Bell Island and understands how important the Ferry system is to us, even if it is the oposition. Let's get those Conservatives on the move and finally get something done about this atrocious Ferry system!!

  • MOVE
    July 01, 2010 - 20:04

    Time for a relocation strategy.

    Git er done Danny

  • PIerre Neary
    July 01, 2010 - 20:03

    MHA Butler is right. Ministers Hedderson and Whalen has proven to be imcompetent over this issue. 49 million went into the strategy and only 10 used ?? Sounds like the same kind of logic the MMSB uses.

  • Donny
    July 01, 2010 - 19:54

    I would rather the government spent the money on a few more golf courses than a Bell Island ferry. What did the handful of residents on the island miss when both ferries were down? A game of bingo in the cove? Give me a break and relocate!

  • Tina
    July 01, 2010 - 19:53

    The residents of Bell Island I am sure will be very pleased with this news. It will be money well spent and a relief for everyone involved. Now that the government are paying attention, start looking at the schedule of the ferry and make adjustments where needed to keep the lineup down which will mean either putting more staff on the ferries or changing the schedule to be more accommodating. This is the best news Bell Island has heard in years.

  • bill
    July 01, 2010 - 19:44

    why should they get a new one before someone else. I think it has tio be for a bunch of communities not just Bell Island

  • DB
    July 01, 2010 - 19:44

    So Plerre what you are saying is blow 39 million on a ferry for what 500 or so people that makes it 78000 dollars per person approx that is managing the provinces money well don't you think.

  • Lorraine
    July 01, 2010 - 19:43

    As a resident of Bell Island I urge the Provincial Government to set their priorities in placing Bell Island on the top priority list for a New Ferry.

    Bell Island residents deserve better service. Many people who commute on a daily basis has had much disruption in their work schedule this year due to the aging vessels. Ferry Service is the only way of life known to the residents of Bell Island and basically it is their highway. To better ensure safety first and foremost we deserve a safe mode of transportation.

    The money is there so spend it wisely on a new ferry not more upgrades to an old aging fleet of ships.

    Bell Island Residents deserves better service.