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Ferry deal or no deal? Bell Islanders to decide tonight

Bell Island residents will gather at a public meeting this evening to vote on whether to accept or refuse a solution being offered by Transportation and Works minister Steve Crocker that could end a four-day old protest.
Bell Island residents will gather at a public meeting this evening to vote on whether to accept or refuse a solution being offered by Transportation and Works minister Steve Crocker that could end a four-day old protest. - Glen Whiffen

Under the shelter of tarps from rain today protesters on Bell Island keeping the MV Legionnaire from leaving port are optimistic about a settlement to the dispute.

Transportation and Works minister Steve Crocker says and Conception Bay East - Bell Island MHA Brazil have indicated a solution has been reached.

Protest organizer Valerie Ryan, however, said they are getting conflicting reports as to what the settlement entails. 

She said protesters want the settlement in writing — including a guarantee that if the Legionnaire is sent to Fogo Island this time, that it will not happen again in the future and it will no longer be considered the swing vessel.

She said there will be a public meeting on Bell Island this evening to vote on whether to accept the settlement offer.

On Friday, government announced the Legionnaire was leave the Bell Island route to begin servicing the Fogo Island-Change Islands-Farewell run to fill in for the MV Veteran while that is out of service to undergo repairs to its port thruster.

The Beaumont Hamel was to join the Flanders to service the Bell Island-Portugal Cove route. 

The changes were to go into effect on Sunday but were foiled by the protest.

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