Marine service between Island and northern Labrador maintained

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LEWISPORTE, Nfld. — The Works, Services and Transportation department recently announced the MV Trans Gulf will make a freight run from Lewisporte, with freight destined for the north coast of Labrador, approximately every two weeks.

Beginning August 2, the Trans Gulf will depart Lewisporte for Black Tickle and Cartwright, picking up freight destined for ports along the north coast of Labrador.

“The people of the north coast of Labrador have expressed some very serious concerns about the cost of shipping freight over the Trans Labrador Highway, and they have also expressed their desire to maintain business relationships with suppliers on the island using a marine connection through Lewisporte,” said Minister Jim Walsh. “We have listened to their concerns and have decided to add Lewisporte to the Trans Gulf schedule. The bi-weekly trip to Lewisporte is an interim measure which will give more time to collect data and evaluate the costs of alternative transportation modes, as well as allowing more time for new supplier links to be developed in relation to the road transportation network. This will also be good news for the business community on the island portion of the province who will, on an interim basis, still be able to ship goods from Lewisporte.”

In order to provide the north coast with a viable service, the North Coast Transportation Committee requested we have a vessel operating from Lewisporte to service northern Labrador communities. Walsh said the port of Cartwright will remain extremely busy throughout the rest of the season, as it still serves as the trans-shipment port for Labrador marine services.

North Coast Transportation Committee chair Jim Lyall said he’s relieved and overjoyed with the announcement.

“Much credit has to be given to the North Coast Transportation Committee for its hard work and determination in ensuring the concerns of the people on the north coast were heard by government,” said Lyall.

“This is a good day for Lewisporte, and I am very pleased with this decision,” said Lewisporte Mayor Bill Hooper. “Our community and all of central Newfoundland will benefit economically from this decision, as will northern Labrador. I would like to thank Minister Walsh for all the time he has put into this matter, as well as the people from northern Labrador who have supported us in our cause to have freight shipped from Lewisporte.”

“The Lewisporte and Area Chamber of Commerce is tremendously pleased with this announcement,” said Chamber President Reverend Arthur Elliott. “We’ve been fighting for this a long time. It restores the freight service out of Lewisporte and the historic link between central Newfoundland and northern Labrador. The economic benefits for those regions will be enhanced by this decision, and jobs at Lewisporte will be maintained.”

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