Baird blames the Liberals

Dave Bartlett
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

transportation/politics Money for Marine Atlantic a rare example of spending, says minister

The federal Transportation Minister says the $175 million in this week's budget for Marine Atlantic shows the Stephen Harper government's commitment to the people of Newfoundland and Labardor.

On Friday, John Baird told The Telegram the money, which will roll out over two years, shows the government is "stepping up to the plate in a big way."

John Baird, federal Transportation Minister

The federal Transportation Minister says the $175 million in this week's budget for Marine Atlantic shows the Stephen Harper government's commitment to the people of Newfoundland and Labardor.

On Friday, John Baird told The Telegram the money, which will roll out over two years, shows the government is "stepping up to the plate in a big way."

"This year's budget contained virtually no new spending," Baird said. "This was one of the rare examples where we put new money out."

Baird also confirmed acquiring the two sister ships of the Atlantic Vision, Marine Atlantic's newest vessel, is one option Ottawa is considering.

"We're going to negotiate tough with (the current owners) and look at some alternatives to get the best deal for taxpayers and look at how quickly we can get them in service," said Baird.

"We don't want people to wait five or 10 years for a new ship to be built.

"That should have happened five or 10 years ago, and it didn't, and that's a real shame."

Baird then accused pervious Liberal governments for not doing enough for the ferry service.

And he pointed to Liberal MP Gerry Byrne, one of the biggest critics of the current government's lack of funding for Marine Atlantic.

"Gerry had 10 years under the Liberals. They never delivered anything for Marine Atlantic," Baird said. "They had their chance and they failed."

The Vision was brought into service by the Harper Government in 2008.

The Liberals did bring in the last new ferry - the Leif Ericson - in 2001.

The two other vessels currently on the gulf run, the Smallwood and the Caribou, date back to the Progressive Conservative government of Brian Mulroney.

Baird said he toured the Smallwood a few weeks back and wasn't impressed with the aging vessel.

"People in Newfoundland deserve a heck of a lot better than that," he said.

Baird said the Vision hasn't been perfect, but it's a big improvement over the older vessels.

When questioned if Ottawa was also looking into reducing the fees for taking the ferries - which many feel are far too high - Baird said another issue is far more important.

"I think people are more concerned about 14-hour delays," he said.

The minister also said it's unacceptable when people have to wait onboard vessels for hours when ramps fail to open.

Baird said new vessels on the gulf run will improve customer service, ferry scheduling and tourism.

He said specific details of how the $175 million will be spent will come this spring.

dbartlett@thetelegram.com

Organizations: Marine Atlantic, Smallwood, The Vision Harper Government

Geographic location: Newfoundland, Ottawa

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page

Comments

Comments

Recent comments

  • mainlander
    July 02, 2010 - 13:35

    Dan is right on. The GST cut was the biggest, stupidest waste of money ever. Who has saved anything with this? Nothing I buy went down in price - companies kept the extra 2 cents as profit. The Conservatives are spending like drunken sailors and blaming the Liberals for making them do it. Bring back the Progressive Conservatives. They weren't perfect by any means but we need some options so we can get this country working again. As it stands now, neither Iggy nor Harper are going to get a majority any time soon. Our government is starting to sound like the democrats and republicans and it is getting a bit tired. These clowns need to get back to work and stop playing games.

  • Dave
    July 02, 2010 - 13:35

    I should think Danny and Harper would get along better. There is nothing they can't childishly and cowardly blame past governments for. No responsibility. Pathetic, John Baird.

  • Passenger
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    Mr. Baird has it all wrong, if he thinks the Atlantic Vision was a prize for Nl. The Atlantic Vision isn't the average man's passenger ferry. Specifically, if having to sit up all night as opposed to taking a cabin, which most people can't afford, best for Nl, then I am not on this earth.
    The Atlantic Vision should never have been bought as it has too many flaws in it, and isn't conducive to good business for Ottawa.
    The Atantic Vision should be sent back for not being a good purchase - warranty if you like.
    I'd rather see a newer ship that meets our needs, and lower the prices to passenger. After all, it's our trans-canada, isn't, and we are not equal to the rest of Canada in this deal. Come on, you can do better for the minority.

  • Stop the Racket
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    Cassandra asks what more could you ask for? Well how about a Premier and a Government thats open honest and transparent? That would be a great place to start. I for one dont see any of those qualities in Premier Danny Williams. Lately its nice to see that I am not alone in those findings. More and more people are seeing him for the ego maniac he really is. By the way its NOT extreme hate its more like extreme FRUSTRATION that in spite of the lies cover ups and corruption the man is still looked upon as saint like by some of his loyal followers.

  • Dan
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    Isn't everyone tired of political rhetoric? Tired limp old never been Gerry Byrne tries to steal the thunder of the minister, then the minister lauds his boss, which is likely a Harper requirement for all public speakers on his team, and then he blames the previous government for the problem. This government is too caught up in trying to get a majority to do anything that resembles responsible management of our money. If they need more funds, here's a jewel for ya, bring back the two cents GST reductions that had about as much impact on the average Canadian as peeing in the ocean, and you'll have 12 billion a year to help cover off some of the costs of the crazy spending you've been doing.

  • b
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    Stop the Racket Stop Danny Williams from NL writes:

    =======================================

    Stop the Racket needs to stop the bull$hit.

    Your anti-Danny rants have become tiresome. If we had a devestating natural event ravage the province, you would rant on that it was Danny's fault.

    You must socialize with Meeker, Hollet and McClain et-al frequently, because you all sound off with the same rhetoric.

  • Cassandra
    July 02, 2010 - 13:29

    I have to laugh at stop the racket and his extreme hate for Mr. Williams. Frankly, I think he's the best premier we've had in a long time.I didn't agree with the ABC campaign but other than that, what more could you ask for? One thing you can't say is he's spineless like all the previous premiers, and the liberals? What a joke. Federally and provincially.

  • Kevin
    July 02, 2010 - 13:25

    I had the misfortune of being stuck on the Caribou just off North Sydney for 32 hours while we waited for the Atlantic Vision to sail in the same weather we had just crossed through. On the trip to Port-Aux-Basques the Atlantic Vision bobbed like a cork, in winds less powerful than those the Caribou sailed through without issue. I have never been so ill in my entire life, and I don't think it's just because I am from the prairies.

    On top of all of this, the docking and terminal facilities are so poorly designed it is laughable. Perhaps Marine Atlantic should take a look at BC Ferries, they're not perfect by any means, but they run a fairly reliable service with well thought out terminals and vessels. Throwing money at what is clearly a poor organisation will not do much to create a good link between NFLD and Nova Scotia. Baird needs to look at the situation a little more closely.

  • Dave
    July 02, 2010 - 13:25

    Stop just throwing money at it and come up with a real solution. Re-work the docking facilities and amenities, sensibly design and purpose build some decent ferries with reasonable accomadations where families can rest or sleep. Then create a CONTROLLED access area for those who will spend money on booze at an inflated price and even let them gamble to subsidize the service.

    The words affordable effective and efficient weren't spoken by Mr. Baird.

  • Stop the Racket
    July 02, 2010 - 13:24

    B from nl. I will leave the bull s h i t all up to you. You are after all so very good at it. Sometimes the truth about Dictator Dan hurts. So DEAL WITH IT. I guess we all know how you vopted b. A sheep that folllowed the master Danny with his ABC garbage. No wonder he is so popular its mindless followers like you that have elevated him to sainthood. Now go drink your cool aid. Danny brought a special batch back from Florida with him.

  • David
    July 02, 2010 - 13:17

    I have to laugh.....you hypocrites saying the GST reduction is meaningless are the same ones bitching about being charged 5 cents a bag at Dominion. Which is it?

    Go out and buy your cigs and lottery tickets, math geniuses.

  • Dan
    July 02, 2010 - 13:13

    Why are so many so insulting on here? If you don't agree with someone's opinion, sure, state it, but why do you go on a personal attack?!
    What did my comments regarding the GST debacle have to do with the 5 cents per bag at Dominion? Yeesh!
    For the record, I don't mind paying 5 cents per bag if I forget to bring my reusable bags, but the part I don't like it that the company that claims it is doing this for the environment while pocketing 5 cents for every bag you buy. The cost of bags used to be absorbed by the company, now it's a boon for them. Now it would be impressive if they donated the 5 cents each to a green project or something, but that would be too much to ask for.

  • Stop the Racket
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    Dont you all just love Dannys ABC campaign now? All Liberals and one NDP in Ottawa. What a stroke of genius by King Danny. Better still what a stroke of genious by those who actually elected these morons. Life is funny and somethimes we get exactly what we deserve. Gee thanks a lot Danny.

  • David
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    Before the recession, when Canada had a booming economy, where was this dedication and commitment to Newfoundland?

    This money is simply a dollop from a new pot called 'infrastructure stimulus money', created using federal credit. We'll be paying for this for 50 years, whatever it is.

    It will be wasted and destroyed for poilitical points, and Marine Atlantic will remain the incompetent, unaccountable, cash burning, economic impedimnet that it's always been.

    Enjoy your ribbon cutting.

  • Elizabeth
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    The fuding will be used to lease the sister ships of the Atlantic Vision I can't believe they would ever consider such an option based on the performance of the Atlantic Vision to date! Inadequate passenger space on board, fires, inability to dock properly, incapable of sustaining performance in high winds, outragous prices for onboard services are only some of the issues with this newly acquired vessel.

    This stunt is clearly a weak attempt at making nice. What Baird, Harper and Co. haven't figured out yet is that us Newfoundlanders aren't bought with our own money. I am one that won't be found onboard the Vision or any other inadequate vessel they use as a sorry excuse on the gulf.

  • mainlander
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    nice generalization David. FYI, I bring my own bags to Dominion, I don't smoke and I don't buy lotto tickets. So, I am not one of these people bitching. I do know enough math to know my bank account has not benefited from this tax decrease . Your comment makes no sense. Have a nice day.

  • mainlander
    July 01, 2010 - 20:25

    Dan is right on. The GST cut was the biggest, stupidest waste of money ever. Who has saved anything with this? Nothing I buy went down in price - companies kept the extra 2 cents as profit. The Conservatives are spending like drunken sailors and blaming the Liberals for making them do it. Bring back the Progressive Conservatives. They weren't perfect by any means but we need some options so we can get this country working again. As it stands now, neither Iggy nor Harper are going to get a majority any time soon. Our government is starting to sound like the democrats and republicans and it is getting a bit tired. These clowns need to get back to work and stop playing games.

  • Dave
    July 01, 2010 - 20:25

    I should think Danny and Harper would get along better. There is nothing they can't childishly and cowardly blame past governments for. No responsibility. Pathetic, John Baird.

  • Passenger
    July 01, 2010 - 20:23

    Mr. Baird has it all wrong, if he thinks the Atlantic Vision was a prize for Nl. The Atlantic Vision isn't the average man's passenger ferry. Specifically, if having to sit up all night as opposed to taking a cabin, which most people can't afford, best for Nl, then I am not on this earth.
    The Atlantic Vision should never have been bought as it has too many flaws in it, and isn't conducive to good business for Ottawa.
    The Atantic Vision should be sent back for not being a good purchase - warranty if you like.
    I'd rather see a newer ship that meets our needs, and lower the prices to passenger. After all, it's our trans-canada, isn't, and we are not equal to the rest of Canada in this deal. Come on, you can do better for the minority.

  • Stop the Racket
    July 01, 2010 - 20:23

    Cassandra asks what more could you ask for? Well how about a Premier and a Government thats open honest and transparent? That would be a great place to start. I for one dont see any of those qualities in Premier Danny Williams. Lately its nice to see that I am not alone in those findings. More and more people are seeing him for the ego maniac he really is. By the way its NOT extreme hate its more like extreme FRUSTRATION that in spite of the lies cover ups and corruption the man is still looked upon as saint like by some of his loyal followers.

  • Dan
    July 01, 2010 - 20:20

    Isn't everyone tired of political rhetoric? Tired limp old never been Gerry Byrne tries to steal the thunder of the minister, then the minister lauds his boss, which is likely a Harper requirement for all public speakers on his team, and then he blames the previous government for the problem. This government is too caught up in trying to get a majority to do anything that resembles responsible management of our money. If they need more funds, here's a jewel for ya, bring back the two cents GST reductions that had about as much impact on the average Canadian as peeing in the ocean, and you'll have 12 billion a year to help cover off some of the costs of the crazy spending you've been doing.

  • b
    July 01, 2010 - 20:20

    Stop the Racket Stop Danny Williams from NL writes:

    =======================================

    Stop the Racket needs to stop the bull$hit.

    Your anti-Danny rants have become tiresome. If we had a devestating natural event ravage the province, you would rant on that it was Danny's fault.

    You must socialize with Meeker, Hollet and McClain et-al frequently, because you all sound off with the same rhetoric.

  • Cassandra
    July 01, 2010 - 20:17

    I have to laugh at stop the racket and his extreme hate for Mr. Williams. Frankly, I think he's the best premier we've had in a long time.I didn't agree with the ABC campaign but other than that, what more could you ask for? One thing you can't say is he's spineless like all the previous premiers, and the liberals? What a joke. Federally and provincially.

  • Kevin
    July 01, 2010 - 20:12

    I had the misfortune of being stuck on the Caribou just off North Sydney for 32 hours while we waited for the Atlantic Vision to sail in the same weather we had just crossed through. On the trip to Port-Aux-Basques the Atlantic Vision bobbed like a cork, in winds less powerful than those the Caribou sailed through without issue. I have never been so ill in my entire life, and I don't think it's just because I am from the prairies.

    On top of all of this, the docking and terminal facilities are so poorly designed it is laughable. Perhaps Marine Atlantic should take a look at BC Ferries, they're not perfect by any means, but they run a fairly reliable service with well thought out terminals and vessels. Throwing money at what is clearly a poor organisation will not do much to create a good link between NFLD and Nova Scotia. Baird needs to look at the situation a little more closely.

  • Dave
    July 01, 2010 - 20:11

    Stop just throwing money at it and come up with a real solution. Re-work the docking facilities and amenities, sensibly design and purpose build some decent ferries with reasonable accomadations where families can rest or sleep. Then create a CONTROLLED access area for those who will spend money on booze at an inflated price and even let them gamble to subsidize the service.

    The words affordable effective and efficient weren't spoken by Mr. Baird.

  • Stop the Racket
    July 01, 2010 - 20:09

    B from nl. I will leave the bull s h i t all up to you. You are after all so very good at it. Sometimes the truth about Dictator Dan hurts. So DEAL WITH IT. I guess we all know how you vopted b. A sheep that folllowed the master Danny with his ABC garbage. No wonder he is so popular its mindless followers like you that have elevated him to sainthood. Now go drink your cool aid. Danny brought a special batch back from Florida with him.

  • David
    July 01, 2010 - 19:58

    I have to laugh.....you hypocrites saying the GST reduction is meaningless are the same ones bitching about being charged 5 cents a bag at Dominion. Which is it?

    Go out and buy your cigs and lottery tickets, math geniuses.

  • Dan
    July 01, 2010 - 19:51

    Why are so many so insulting on here? If you don't agree with someone's opinion, sure, state it, but why do you go on a personal attack?!
    What did my comments regarding the GST debacle have to do with the 5 cents per bag at Dominion? Yeesh!
    For the record, I don't mind paying 5 cents per bag if I forget to bring my reusable bags, but the part I don't like it that the company that claims it is doing this for the environment while pocketing 5 cents for every bag you buy. The cost of bags used to be absorbed by the company, now it's a boon for them. Now it would be impressive if they donated the 5 cents each to a green project or something, but that would be too much to ask for.

  • Stop the Racket
    July 01, 2010 - 19:45

    Dont you all just love Dannys ABC campaign now? All Liberals and one NDP in Ottawa. What a stroke of genius by King Danny. Better still what a stroke of genious by those who actually elected these morons. Life is funny and somethimes we get exactly what we deserve. Gee thanks a lot Danny.

  • David
    July 01, 2010 - 19:44

    Before the recession, when Canada had a booming economy, where was this dedication and commitment to Newfoundland?

    This money is simply a dollop from a new pot called 'infrastructure stimulus money', created using federal credit. We'll be paying for this for 50 years, whatever it is.

    It will be wasted and destroyed for poilitical points, and Marine Atlantic will remain the incompetent, unaccountable, cash burning, economic impedimnet that it's always been.

    Enjoy your ribbon cutting.

  • Elizabeth
    July 01, 2010 - 19:44

    The fuding will be used to lease the sister ships of the Atlantic Vision I can't believe they would ever consider such an option based on the performance of the Atlantic Vision to date! Inadequate passenger space on board, fires, inability to dock properly, incapable of sustaining performance in high winds, outragous prices for onboard services are only some of the issues with this newly acquired vessel.

    This stunt is clearly a weak attempt at making nice. What Baird, Harper and Co. haven't figured out yet is that us Newfoundlanders aren't bought with our own money. I am one that won't be found onboard the Vision or any other inadequate vessel they use as a sorry excuse on the gulf.

  • mainlander
    July 01, 2010 - 19:44

    nice generalization David. FYI, I bring my own bags to Dominion, I don't smoke and I don't buy lotto tickets. So, I am not one of these people bitching. I do know enough math to know my bank account has not benefited from this tax decrease . Your comment makes no sense. Have a nice day.