Marine Atlantic pressured by MP to drop surcharge

NORTH SYDNEY, N.S. — Truckers waiting for Marine Atlantic to drop its fuel surcharge to be more in line with today’s lower prices have a new ally.

Humber-St. Barbe-Baie Verte MP Gerry Byrne called on the North Sydney-Port Aux Basques service to follow other ferry operators around the country in lowering fuel surcharges to reflect current market prices.

According to The Northern Pen newspaper, Byrne blasted Marine Atlantic and Ottawa for continuing to justify a 25 percent surcharge imposed to reflect fuel prices from last summer. That’s on top of a 10 percent charge announced in April, which together cost truckers about $120 extra.

He said the crown corporation should mirror B.C. Ferries Corp., which announced it’s phasing out its fuel surcharge by the end of the month.

Many passengers and truckers expected some sort of rate decease this fall, but the company insisted that 17 million liters in storage (bought during the time of peak prices) made the ferry slow to react to new market conditions.

Byrne called on the federal government to slash the surcharge as part of its economic stimulus proposal.


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