NEWS

Lower North Shore and Anticosti Island losing winter ferry service

10/12/2014 02:34 EDT | Updated 12/12/2014 05:59 EST
There will be no passenger or shipping services to Quebec's Lower North Shore this winter due to provincial budget cuts.

The Quebec's ferry company – la Société des traversiers du Québec – says that because its annual budget has been cut by $7 million, it will not offer the service provided by its ferry, the Bella Desgagnés, between January 19, 2015 and some time in April. 

"We were forced to curb various services, including service to the Lower North Shore," said spokesperson Maryse Brodeur. 

During the last four winters, winter shipping services cost the ferry company between $1.2 million and $2 million to reach the Middle and Lower North Shore, as well as Anticosti Island. 

On the Lower North Shore, the mayor of Gros Mécatina, Randy Jones, said mayors in the area will mobilize to demand the continuation of the service. 

"There will be pressure by the end of the week. Others also are upset by this," said Jones.

The other options for going in an out of the Lower North Shore in the winter are driving on the frozen Route Blanche or taking a flight, which is much more expensive than the ferry.

"The only people that you see travelling on that plane are the bureaucrats and somebody that’s sick going to the hospital because those are the only people who can afford to travel,” said Jones

Jones told Susan Camplbell of CBC's Quebec AM that he realizes governments do have to make cuts, but he can't understand why they have to be made at the expense of the some of the province's most isolated citizens. 

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