Nfld. & Labrador

Nippers Harbour residents want to leave, while government says no

Residents of Nippers Harbour voted two years ago to resettle, but the provincial government says it's more cost-effective to keep the town as is.

Once the capital of Green Bay, Nippers Harbour now has population of 90

Residents want to move from tiny outport, but the government says no 2:17

Residents of Nippers Harbour voted two years ago to resettle, but the Newfoundland and Labrador government says it makes much more economic sense for them to stay put. 

Once the capital of Green Bay and a thriving community, Nippers Harbour now has a population of less than a hundred.

Nippers Harbour Mayor Ted Noble says the town has lost too many necessities for people to continue living there. (CBC)

"I guess everybody's talking about resettlement," Mayor Ted Noble told CBC News Thursday.

"You've got to miss the old times, sure. Won't ever get them back, now they're gone," he said.

Two years ago, residents voted on resettlement. An overwhelming majority of 98 per cent of those who voted said it was time to leave. 

"Yes we're all for resettlement — but when the door comes through for the last time, and you got to say goodbye to it brother, it's going to be a rough day that day."

Residents of Nippers Harbour have voted for resettlement, but the provincial government says it will save $4.4 million over the next 20 years if the town stays put. (Chris Ensing/CBC)

There's not much left in the community now, mainly unoccupied homes scattered among other vacant properties. 

"That's been closed down for a year I guess. Gone to Fort Mac now. Try to better themselves," Noble said.

"We got no gas, we got no grocery store. If we [want] a can of milk, we gotta get aboard our machines and 45 minutes to an hour drive before we can get to the store."

Cost analysis took 2 years

For two years, Nippers Harbour has remained in limbo, while the Newfoundland and Labrador government completed a cost analysis.

With a 98 per cent vote here to leave this town, I think there should be a go, you know- Mayor Ted Noble

The province crunched the numbers and said Nippers Harbour is still viable.

Government says it's cheaper to keep the current population of about 90 people in the town than to pay to move them out.

"They got stuff in this cost analysis that's out to lunch, as far as I'm concerned," said Noble. 

The government says it will save $4.4 million over 20 years if the town stays as it is. 

Mayor Ted Noble is concerned about costs to keep up the gravel road in the community of 90. (CBC)

But Noble questions those numbers, especially related to keeping up the gravel road in the community, which is the only access in and out of town. 

"Well, the road, let me say this: There's time she's very good, and most times she's not especially after rain and that," said Noble.

Noble said residents have found it unacceptable that they had to wait so long for a government rejection.

"I think this is something that really needs to be addressed. With a 98 per cent vote here to leave this town, I think there should be a go, you know."

Noble said he's called a town meeting and has a follow-up with Baie Verte-Springdale MHA Kevin Pollard this weekend.

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