(May 28, 2024, St. John’s NL):  Jim McKenna, PC Opposition Critic for Transportation and MHA for Fogo Island-Cape Freels, today spoke out major disruptions planned by the Furey Liberal Government on Fogo Island-Change Islands.

McKenna reacted to the news that the Kamutik W will be leaving Fogo Island-Change Islands run, and the Astron W will be brought in to replace it. The Astron W, which is much smaller, will operate on a single-vessel schedule. The usual vessel for the service, the MV Veteran is currently in dry dock and not anticipated to return for several weeks.

 “This is a slap in the face to my constituents and further proof of the Furey Liberals arrogance towards rural NL.  Without notice, ferry users on Fogo Island-Change Islands have been told they will be going to a single vessel service.  This is just as tourism picks up and, more importantly, the fish plant is busy processing crab.  Again, poor planning and communication.

McKenna noted the Fogo Island Cooperative lands crab at the wharf for processing and export but also imports crab to the Island for processing, providing much needed employment for the 400 workers and families that rely on the plant.  Reduced ferry capacity for tractor trailers is devastating for the plant trying to run a business dealing with live product and a short season.

“Tourism, the fishery and local residents will not tolerate a reduced single vessel service.  It simply won’t work and the sooner the Minister wakes up to this realization the better.”