The absence of collaboration with your best customers is the worst level of autocracy there is and the dumbest. First our politicians and crats sell off our resources and assets and then they institute rules that negatively impact the very people who make the economy run. Well, I guess we deserve it … we elected them and the other ones before them. Get together folks and work out a satisfactory compromise!!!!
Truckers defy new Grand Manan ferry rule
Companies say Coastal Transport revealed a new policy on Saturday evening
Posted: May 28, 2012 8:18 AM AT
Last Updated: May 28, 2012 10:15 AM AT
Trucking companies that use the Grand Manan ferry are defying a new rule announced by Coastal Transport over the weekend.
Morton Benson of BenMark Trucking said he and other trucking company officials were told on the weekend that starting on Monday morning drivers will have to accompany their vehicles on the crossings between Grand Manan and Blacks Harbour.
Until now, Benson said companies used one driver at each end to move the trucks once they arrived.
“We pick it up back at this side, two hours later, and then unload it, or refill it, whichever way it’s going, then we ship them back and forth,” he said.
On Monday morning, the truck drivers took their vehicles onto the ferry and walked off.
The RCMP were posted at the ferry terminal but they did not stop them. Coastal Transport workers also did not halt the drivers.
Drivers are waiting on the Blacks Harbour side of the crossing for the vehicles.
Toby McLaughlin, the owner of Foggy Cove Ventures, said he’s not sure what will happen when the ferry arrives in Blacks Harbour.
“There’s going to be an RCMP presence and a commercial [Department of Transportation] enforcement unit there. I don’t know what they’re expecting,” he said.
“Our drivers are just going to take them off like they always did. I don’t understand whether it be Coastal Transport or DOT or where this is all coming from.”
McLaughlin said he is unsure about what prompted this rule change. But he is adamant the new rule will hurt his business.
“We’re all smaller companies. It’s hard to find manpower as it is and to find an extra person to sit with the truck, which you are not even allowed on the car deck, while the ferry is operating. It’s pointless. It’s crazy,” McLaughlin said.
Short notice given for rule change
BenMark Trucking’s Benson said he feels it is ridiculous to expect companies to pay drivers to sit aboard the ferry doing nothing while it crosses the Bay of Fundy.
The company official said he is also concerned that Coastal Transport gave companies very little warning about the policy change.
“Saturday night [at] 5:30, we got our phone calls from Coastal Transport saying the province made a new policy, effective May 28,” he said.
There are other changes happening for Coastal Transport on Monday.
The company, which operates the Grand Manan and White Head ferries, is taking over Deer Island ferry operation.
The Department of Transportation announced the $13.8 million deal earlier this month.