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Transportation and Works
July 19, 2010

Montreal Port Situation Poses Negative Consequences for
Newfoundland and Labrador

The current labour situation at the Port of Montreal has the potential to have significant negative impacts on the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Honourable Tom Hedderson, Minister of Transportation and Works, said today. The minister advised residents and businesses, particularly on the Avalon Peninsula, that they should be aware of these possible impacts.

"According to Oceanex officials, approximately 50 per cent of goods coming to the island portion of the province arrive via shipping containers from the Port of Montreal," said Minister Hedderson. "And of that, 70 per cent comes directly to the Avalon Peninsula. We are told that Marine Atlantic has very limited, if any, capacity to compensate for the volume of shipments coming out of Montreal's port. Therefore, the lock out situation at the Port of Montreal will mean substantially reduced products coming on to the island including items such as food goods and construction materials."

The Provincial Government has written the Federal Government expressing the seriousness of the situation and the negative impacts it will have on the province.

"We have informed the Federal Government of serious consequences for our province and we are urging both the union and the Port of Montreal to come to a resolution as quickly as possible, given the serious economic and social impacts it could have not only on our province, but the country as a whole," said Minister Hedderson. "Given that the majority of Newfoundland and Labrador's population is island based and can only receive goods via air or by water, this disruption in service has the potential to be very serious. We are hopeful that a resolution can be found quickly."

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Media contact:

Roger Scaplen
Director of Communications
Department of Transportation and Works
709-729-3015, 697-5267

2010 07 19                                                      4:00 p.m.

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