Time for a shakeup at Marine Atlantic

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Dear editor: Marine Atlantic pulled another stunt that will certainly adversely affect the people of Newfoundland mostly by cutting back on the number of ferry crossings.

It seems that Marine Atlantic is contemptuous of the good hard-working people of Newfoundland and its Marine Atlantic employees. It has cut its service once again, if you can call it service.

 If one checks the record of Marine Atlantic it is a litany of breakdowns and delays, even to the point last year when the clown of a helmsman drove a boat into a dock. It turns out that he didn't know his right hand from his left, or port from starboard.

Marine Atlantic is copying Canada Post. The theme is “cut service and increase prices” and then wonder where all your customers went, but the bosses still receive a top salary with bonuses.

The province (country!) of Newfoundland does an amazing job promoting the wonders of Newfoundland.

The tourist accommodations are terrific, the people of Newfoundland are among the nicest and friendliest anywhere in the world. The highways and most of the roads are in great shape and the scenery and weather truly spectacular.

The only extremely weak link in the whole system is Marine Atlantic.

The management doesn't have a clue, the communications is pitiful. When they cause a delay they offer precious little help, except a discount voucher for your next trip. Great, what about the cost of a 500-mile drive and staying extra nights in a hotel just because Marine Atlantic cannot keep their ferries in good order and only buy well-used ferries from Europe.

Now is the time for a major shakeup at Marine Atlantic.

No wonder people now fly. Flying is extremely reliable and when delays with Marine Atlantic are factored flying is cheaper.

Time to hire a management team that really knows what they are doing, after all Newfoundland is a nation of mariners and good ones at that.

I am planning to visit Newfoundland again this summer. And yes by ferry.  

I am driving because I want to visit Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

We hope to be on the Argentia run. I'll bring a compass in case the helmsman gets lost.

Lionel Rudd, Sudbury, Ont.

Organizations: Marine Atlantic, Canada Post, Argentia

Geographic location: Newfoundland, Quebec, Nova Scotia New Brunswick

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Recent comments

  • Jackie Barrett - Maritimer Newfoundlander
    June 08, 2014 - 21:12

    Its not just the Canadian Government whom should take the blame for Marine Atlantic's champagne rates and beer level service, but also provincial and federal politicians as well as our mayors from major cities and towns for failing to fight for better, reliable, and cheaper ferry service. As a result of Marine Atlantic and its owner, the Canadian taxpayers, constantly bullying Newfoundlanders and Labradorians with high ferry rates, unreliable service, and cuts to this service, Marine Atlantic are definitely violating Section 32 of the Newfoundland Act which entitles the island to ferry service connecting Channel Port aux Basques to North Sydney. In fact, Section 32 of the Newfoundland Act states that 32. (1) Canada will maintain in accordance with the traffic offering a freight and passenger steamship service between North Sydney and Port aux Basques, which, on completion of a motor highway between Corner Brook and Port aux Basques, will include suitable provision for the carriage of motor vehicles: (2) For the purpose of railway rate regulation the Island of Newfoundland will be included in the Maritime region of Canada, and throughtraffic moving between North Sydney and Port aux Basques will be treated as allrail traffic. (3) All legislation of the Parliament of Canada providing for special rates on traffic moving within, into, or out of, the Maritime region will as far as appropriate, be made applicable to the Island of Newfoundland. Source: Newfoundland Act, Section 32.

  • Newfie on d Mainland
    June 07, 2014 - 09:11

    Way back when I was young, the ferry was considered part of the Trans-Canada Highway. That made it an essential service. Has the designation changed?