Seafarers urge ferry action

Chi-Cheemaun-last-sailEDITOR’S NOTE: The following letter was sent to Grey-Bruce-Owen Sound MP Larry Miller regarding the Chi-Cheemaun dockage issue. It is reprinted here at the author’s request.

Dear Mr. Miller:

Regarding the docking facilities for the MS Chi-Cheemaun. We see no need for background in this letter as both governments are aware of the issue.

We have grave concerns over the impact of the squabble between the federal and provincial governments over who the responsible party is for modifications to the docks in Southbay and Tobermory.

The bottom line is the modification needs to be done on an urgent basis in order to secure the employment of the workforce both on the vessel and in the tourism industry. It is time for both levels of government to put the people first and foremost and get down to the business at hand. Seasonal workers need a complete season in order to maintain their families through the winter months when tourism is shut down on the peninsula and the Island. They don’t have time for you to wage a penny pinching battle over what amounts to a minimum investment in infrastructure with long term benefits.

I urge you to both make the required time in your agendas to get this job done without the usual back and forth and digging in your heals based on departmental budgets. The livelihood of hundreds of families and businesses depend on this service and are depending on you to figure this out and get it done.

James Given, Executive Vice President,
Seafarers International Union of Canada,