Ministerial Question Period: Commercial Shipments to Newfoundland and Labrador

By: The Hon. Brian Francis

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Hon. Brian Francis: Minister, on September 1, Marine Atlantic eliminated the Commercial Other PRV classification for units under 30 feet. As a result, trucks transporting RVs to Newfoundland, who have travelled under this classification before, can now only reserve a crossing as a passenger-related unit, which does not provide access to commercial overnight berths, or travel on a first-come, first-served basis. According to the Atlantic Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association, this decision creates significant barriers to deliveries and shortages. Do you know if any consideration is being given to recognizing shipments of RV inventory, to Newfoundland, as bona fide commercial shipments?

Hon. Omar Alghabra, P.C., M.P., Minister of Transport: Thank you, senator, for that question. Marine Atlantic is an incredibly important service to our fellow neighbours in the Atlantic provinces. Our government continues to support this service, particularly during difficult times — during COVID. As for your question, I need to get back to you about whether that was a particular decision made by Marine Atlantic. It is, after all, an independent body that makes its own decisions based on its operational considerations. I’ll need to get back to you on that question.

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