The Queen Charlotte Islands Observer is reporting that NDP MLA Gary Coons has discovered that the Queen of Prince Rupert won't be sailing off into the sunset as originally planned at the end of March.
According to the Observer story, Mr. Coons has suggested that BC Ferries is having more problems with the Northern Adventure, the ferry that was set to take over the QCI run from the Queen of Prince Rupert on March 30th.
Decomissioning plans would apparently be on hold now for the Queen, as should Mr. Coon's information be correct, the necessary repairs required for the vessel totalling over one million dollars, will result in the vessel remaining off the roster for at least one more month.
BC Ferries had not provided a reply to the Observer's inquiries prior to their press deadline and no notices have been posted as of yet to the BC Ferries website.
Northern Adventure will be delayed, says MLA Coons
Queen Charlotte Islands Observer
March 18, 2009
NDP ferry critic and local MLA Gary Coons says the Queen of Prince Rupert won't be leaving the Skidegate-Prince Rupert route as soon as BC Ferries had planned.
The QPR was set to be decommissioned March 30 at a special ceremony in Prince Rupert, with the Northern Adventure taking over the northern routes the same day.
But Mr. Coons said he has heard from reliable sources that the Northern Adventure was damaged over the winter when the vessel's heat was mistakenly turned off while it was tied up.
It will cost over $1-million to repair the damage, he said, and its return to service will be delayed for a month.
BC Ferries was not available for comment before our deadline. Vice-president of communications Mark Stefanson told the Observer two weeks ago that there are no problems with the Northern Adventure and that it would definitely be returning to service at the end of March.