NEWS

Stranded Apollo passengers may finally get to sail today

03/11/2015 06:11 EDT | Updated 05/11/2015 05:59 EDT
There could be relief on Wednesday for passengers waiting to take a ferry between northern Newfoundland and southern Quebec

The MV Apollo has been stuck in St. Barbe, on Newfoundland's Northern Peninsula, for nine days due to thick sea ice which has filled the Strait of Belle Isle.

- Ice-jammed ferry in strait off Newfoundland wears down passenger patience 

A stronger icebreaker is expected to reach the strait on Wednesday to help get the ferry Apollo back in service.

The coast guard vessel Terry Fox is expected to join the Anne Harvey which is already in the area. The coast guard says persistent westerly winds have been pushing heavy ice along the island's west coast.

Supplies running low

The news will be welcome for passengers who have been stuck in St. Barbe for over a week.

As well, a number of transport trucks are also stranded, which means food and supplies are not making it to stores in southern Labrador and Blanc Sablon.

Blandine Jones, who operates a supermarket in the Quebec community, is starting to worry about the food situation in the town.

"Fruit, vegetables - we don't have any in stock," she said.

"We don't have any eggs, our meat is getting short, milk is getting short. Even our customers, they're coming here - there's no fruit and vegetables, so they're getting very frustrated."

The issue of the stranded ferry came up in federal question period on Tuesday, when New Democrat Ryan Cleary raised it in the House of Commons.

"Passengers are forced to sleep in cars, some have run out of medications," he told the house.

"Perishable foods are spoiling in trucks while everyone waits for help. It's inexcusable that a vital link should be out of commission for so long with no end in sight."

Fisheries minister Gail Shea told the House of Commons extreme ice conditions are causing delays in many parts of Canada's east coast. 

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