Tension has been building between two communities after government decided to send the Grace Sparkes, which services St. Brendan's in the Bonavista Bay, to Bell Island until June.

Ed Kent, a member of the Bell Island Ferry Users Committee, said the government is to blame, not Bell Island.

"We see, on Bell Island, that St. Brendan's has been victims like ourselves," Kent said.

Residents of St. Brendan's are upset because they will be left with an older, smaller vessel. Mayor Veronica Broomfield said on Tuesday the community is disgusted at the situation.

But Kent said it is an inevitable situation for communities who need ferry services. 

"We're sort of stuck now with a situation — the chickens have come home to roost, and there's no ferries left. Someone is going to pay the price."

Fleet in hard shape

Kent said that the provincial ferry fleet is deteriorating and government has not come up with a solution to accommodate the communities who require ferry services.

"There's been a lack of investment. There’s only two new boats built in 20 some odd years, so the fleet is known to be in a state of decay somewhat," he said.

According to Kent, some communities may find themselves without ferry services soon if nothing is done.

"We're so far behind now. We're stuck, and we're in an actual jam," Kent said. "We're in a crisis now, and it could become an emergency situation."

He said the only plausible solution is to increase the number of ferries in the province.