11/15/2013 06:06 EST | Updated 01/23/2014 06:56 EST

Nunatsiavut government calls on province to develop new ferry plan

HAPPY VALLEY-GOOSE BAY, - The Nunatsiavut government says the province is dragging its heels when it comes to providing a new ferry for the north coast of Labrador.

A request for proposals has yet to be issued to replace the Northern Ranger, but the provincial government has said it intends to do so before the end of the year.

The province first promised a new ferry two years ago.

The province announced a $51-million contract for a new ferry for Fogo Island on Wednesday and said a deal would be reached soon for a new ferry for Bell Island.

Nunatsiavut President Sarah Leo says she has spoken to Transportation Minister Nick McGrath, who she said did not provide a definite time frame for the release of the request for proposals.

Leo says marine services are an essential part of life on the north coast and she's concerned there is no plan to address the issue.