Lisa Dempster

Liberal MHA Lisa Dempster says ferry delays are hurting Southern Labrador businesses and travellers. (CBC)

Liberal MHA Lisa Dempster says she has heard from many businesses in southern Labrador who say they are running very low on supplies. 

Businesses are hurting because heavy ice has stalled the ferry service for a couple of weeks. An icebreaker was sent to Corner Brook last week to help the Apollo make its crossing on the Strait of Belle Isle.

Dempster said businesses are low on goods, and stranded passengers are spending money on hotels and food.

"The onus, I believe, is on the government to step up and provide a subsidy. Put a subsidy in place for goods to be flown in," said Dempster

"I'm getting calls every single day from businesses that have nothing on their shelves. Very low. It started out with no milk, fruits, vegetables — very essential items."

Dempster said she has also heard from trucking companies that deliver products to those businesses.

She added they're feeling the pinch because of the backlog of commercial traffic.

Meanwhile, government implemented the Air Foodlift Subsidy Program for the south coast-Labrador Straits areas a week ago. Effective Jan. 7, retailers were eligible to take part in the program. 

The policy states, "That if for some reason (inclement weather or mechanical failure) there is a stoppage of scheduled crossings of a marine vessel for an extended period of time, retailers in these communities would be eligible to participate in the program." 

Labrador Marine is not taking any new reservations until the backlog is cleared up.