ST. JOHN'S, Nfld. - The Newfoundland and Labrador Carriers Association (NALCA) held its annual general meeting in March and renewed calls for reduced ferry rates.The NALCA has invited other associatio...
ST. JOHN’S, Nfld. – The Newfoundland and Labrador Carriers Association (NALCA) held its annual general meeting in March and renewed calls for reduced ferry rates.
The NALCA has invited other associations within Newfoundland and Labrador to join its Gulf Service Coalition, which it started last November. The alliance will address various issues with the Marine Atlantic ferry service.
“One of our prime objectives is from here on in we will refer to the main waterway between Newfoundland and Nova Scotia as an extension of the Trans-Canada Highway, and the ferry charges as tolls,”said Gerry Dowden, NALCA past president and chairman. “It is our intention to eliminate or reduce those tolls to travel that portion of the TCH.”
He says it is not an issue NALCA can go directly to Marine Atlantic with because it is a corporation set up by the federal government and so instead the association will go to the federal treasury board or the Department of Transportation.
“We plan to portray the position that it should not cost us any more to travel the ferry than it does to travel any portion of the TCH anywhere else in Canada,” Dowden says.
There was a phenomenal response, says Dowden, from other organizations throughout the province and the NALCA continues to receive letters from other associations and municipalities that want to participate as well.
“The end result will benefit Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. It’s not something that the trucking industry wants and will put in their pocket but it’s something to pass on to the general public,” says Dowden.
He says currently Newfoundlanders pay $450 to get across on the ferry, including the driver and a sleeping berth. He argues that if the fare was reduced, the savings could be passed on to shippers, who in turn pass on the savings to consumers.
“It will be a long-term thing, it is something that we will continue to work on and continue to pressure the government to eliminate or reduce ferry tolls,” says Dowden.
The annual meeting, held at the Chateau Park Hotel in Mount Pearl, Nfld., marked the inauguration of the new executive and Board of Directors.
The new Board has increased to 10 members and includes: Gerry Dowden of East Can Transport as past president; Gord Peddle of DD Transport as president; Roger Flood of Day and Ross (Nfld.) as secretary/treasurer; Greer Hunt of Hunt’s Transport; Marvin Way of Way’s Transport; Tony Powell of Clarke Transport; Francis McNeil of Jayco Transport; Bob Ledrew of Bob Ledrew and Son’s Moving; Don Bursey of Bursey’s Trucking; and Lorne Quinn of Quinnsway Transport as directors.
In attendance at the meeting was Ralph Boyd, president of the Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association (APTA), Donnie Fillmore, chairman of the APTA, Jon Summers of the Newfoundland and Labrador Independent Truckers Association, Tom Beckett, deputy registrar from the motor registration division for Newfoundland and Labrador and St. John’s city councilor, Paul Sears.
“We had a great group of people here and very positive results, and we appreciate the support we received from other organizations who joined us for the meeting,” says Dowden “Councilor Sears invited the NALCA to send a representative to sit on the traffic committee for the city of St. John’s and it was wonderful to receive that kind of recognition.”
NALCA was formed three years ago to address and improve the road transportation industry to, from and within Newfoundland and Labrador.