-Or Another Attempt to Get Rid of Rural NL
As I tuned in to watch NTV's "Issues and Answers" yesterday, Sunday, May 28, I was quite delighted to hear Premier Dwight Ball's solid support of our Tourism industry in Newfoundland and Labrador. He sounded very excited and declared that NL tourism is growing and is 'good news story.' I agree, and was very encouraged, considering that a number of our residents (volunteers) along with entrepreneurs form the public sector have been working diligently here on Long Island to develop tourism and contribute to the economic development of our community and, thus, to the economy of the Province.
Imagine my chagrin on Monday, to receive a watered down version of the ferry schedule for this coming summer. The previous summers were bad enough, since, in the past 12 years, the Williams regime had stripped our wonderful ferry service to Long Island down to the bare bones. Now, this new schedule is designed to drive away any hope of bringing more visitors to our island this summer.
The underlined ferry crossings listed by the Department are pretend times(crossings), bogus, because if a member of the travelling public shows up for either of these crossings, listed as Via LI, and there are more vehicles than the ferry can take at one crossing, then you will be left behind to wait for at least another two hours. This has not been done in the past. Long Island is only a five minute crossing and the Captain has always been able to go back and clear up traffic. Our Co-Ferry users on Little Bay Islands have not seemed to have any problems with this.
Premier Ball's Transportation Minister and his Department has been given permission, it appears to sabotage Long Island's ferry schedule even farther. In fact, this schedule is designed to incite civil unrest among the people of Long Island and the travelling public.
With this kind of situation occurring, by design, by one of our Government departments, I, and others, have to question the sincerity of Premier Ball's claims to be in full support of the economic and tourism development of our communities and of our Province.
I realize that Minister Hawkins cannot be expected to do the work of scheduling for ferry services; that is what his staff at the department is paid to do. I, dare I also say, WE here on Long Island, do expect him to listen to our MHA Brian Warr when, as MHA Warr has assured me that he is lobbying on our behalf with the minister to leave our ferry schedule alone. AND, I do expect Minister Hawkins to listen to our people when our Mayor Daniel Vielleux relays on to MHA Warr and the officials in the department what is required for a workable, although, don't forget, watered down schedule that it
has become since it's dismantling that started in 2005.
So, after having said all that, if the Premier allows this, so unnecessary, unfairness and sabotage of our Transportation needs to continue, we all have to question the sincerity of Premier Dwight Ball in his stated support of Tourism and economic development of the entire province.