Transportation and Works
June 22, 2007

Government Disappointed in Marine Atlantic Rate Increase

The Honourable John Hickey, Minister of Transportation and Works, is displeased with the announcement today that Marine Atlantic will raise its transportation rates by an additional two per cent.

Minister Hickey said although Marine Atlantic is blaming the latest rate increase on the cost of fuel, the traveling public should not be bearing the brunt.

"Marine Atlantic serves as our extension of the Trans-Canada Highway and our connection to the rest of Canada," said Minister Hickey. "My concern is that continual rate increases will make it cost-prohibitive for travelers to use the service and experience everything Newfoundland and Labrador has to offer. I challenge the federal government to cancel the rate increase and reduce their rates, just as this government has done with our provincial service."

Marine Atlantic raised rates by two per cent in February.

Minister Hickey pointed out that although actual increases may appear to be minimal any increase in rates is viewed negatively by tourists. Research has shown that cost and accessibility are major factors which influence a travelerís decision to visit a destination and how often they visit.

"I will be contacting the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, federal Minister of Transportation, Infrastructure and Communities, to express these concerns," said Minister Hickey.


Media contact:
David Salter
Director of Communications
Department of Transportation and Works
709-729-3015, 691-3577

2007 06 22                                                      2:45 p.m.


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