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Letter: Living on Bell Island no longer makes sense

The MV Legionnaire docked on the Bell Island side of the Tickle. — Telegram file photo
The MV Legionnaire docked on the Bell Island side of the Tickle. — Telegram file photo

There has been a great deal of debate about the cost of servicing remote locations as of late. Talk of the protection of Newfoundland culture and way of life in the outports, at all cost apparently.

There have been a few perceptive viewpoints about the cost of ferry service which is just one small part of the debate. I don’t want to focus on the bigger overall debate, but rather will use Bell Island as the most obvious case for resettlement.

There is no income generated on the island with the exception of some small amount of tourism associated with the mines. There is no fishery. It is a bedroom community.

My issue is that Bell Island has no reason to be. A Google search shows there’s only roughly a couple of thousand people there. There is no income generated on the island with the exception of some small amount of tourism associated with the mines. There is no fishery. It is a bedroom community. There are constant issues with the ferries and parking, with two ferries running all day long to get residents to work and shopping and medical appointments.

I see no reason why a new community couldn’t be developed in Portugal Cove with the entire island resettled there. They get to retain their community and culture and eliminate the need for the ferry system.

For certain, there are young people leaving the community every year in search of employment. It’s a fact of the Newfoundland way of life. I just don’t know why the powers that be don’t make the hard decisions.

 

Jim Bishop

St Johns

 

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