I write in response to Trevor Taylor’s Aug. 27 column (“The harbour’s the problem). I read it with great interest, considering Taylor’s past experience as minister of Transportation during his tenure in the provincial government.
I understand the point of such pieces is to promote discussion and debate, but Mr. Taylor’s commentary, in this instance, is ignorant and divisive.
When a former minister makes a statement like “there is a reason why the ferries don’t leave or enter Port aux Basques when there is anything more than a moderate breeze,” he should at least have a measure of information to substantiate or support that statement. An utterly untrue comment like that coming from a former minister of this government calls into question their knowledge of Marine Atlantic, its ferries and the harbour.
Does the harbour in Port aux Basques have some issues? Of course it does, as does every other harbour in the province. The town council of Port aux Basques, as well as other community leaders, have been proposing harbour development with various levels of government for years. However, you never hear a word from this Progressive Conservative government advocating on our behalf.
If harbour safety was such an issue, why didn’t we hear from Mr. Taylor when he was minister of Transportation, or his colleagues in the provincial government?
Mr. Taylor should at least know a little about what he writes before publishing such nonsense. The reality is that Marine Atlantic service between North Sydney and Port aux Basques has an 84 per cent rating for being on time. Additionally, the cost to perform upgrades to Port aux Basques harbour would be a pittance compared to the cost of moving the operation to Stephenville or any other port in the province, as Mr. Taylor carelessly suggested.
Moving the ferry run from Port aux Basques would result in reduced capacity, longer travel times and increased costs. It would not solve delays or other issues inherent in ferry service, no matter where it is. Those are the facts.
Andrew Parsons, MHA