Daily Archives: April 11, 2011

Higher Gas Prices Creates a Need For Better Public Transit in Rural NL

Reading an article on CBC.ca found here makes the following statement:

CIBC Economics, the economics arm of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, said higher pump prices for all of 2011 would translate into $950 getting sucked out of each Canadian household to feed their cars and trucks.

Escalating gas prices appear to be commonplace even in a country such as Canada that is rich with oil. I remember maybe 15 years ago when gasoline was 56.9 cents per litre with full-service on the Great Northern Peninsula in Northern Newfoundland. The price of gasoline has been constantly increasing during this winter, currently at $1.40 per litre self-service. 

I live in a rural area, commuting 50 km each way to work or some 500 km each week. There are limited options for me, but to absorb this additional cost and pay the projected $950 per year. However, the high price at the pumps have a domino effect on all other goods as they need to be transported to the rural area. The small business owner will face increased costs and ultimately have to pass these on to the end-consumer. It will not be much longer that this $950 becomes a much larger cost to my wallet.

The Provincial Government greatly benefits from increases gasoline prices, since consumer’s have limited alternatives when it comes to public transit and continue to pay at the pumps. The Capital City and Corner Brook does have some bus service, but rural regions have limited long-distance busing to connect us to larger centers. Most communities on the Great Northern Peninsula are so geographically distanced that bicycle use would only be feasible for very short distances and only during ideal weather conditions.

Consumer’s pay a $0.10 Federal Gas Tax Levy plus Provincially we pay some of the highest rates in the country with a $0.165 Provincial Gas Tax Levy + a 13% Harmonized Sales Tax. We are constantly being gauged, with little relief. The Provincial Government should reduce their levy or at least re-invest a portion of this money spent at the pump to implementing better local public transit.

When I lived in Europe, during 2007 I did not rent a car once. I often opted to walk or take a bus, tram, underground rail car or train. There were so many low costs alternatives. Even when I lived in Edmonton, Alberta, I always used a combination of walking and bus route to work each day. Canada needs to place greater emphasis on high-speed trains in concentrated urban centres, such as connections between Edmonton and Calgary, as well as Quebec City, Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto.

Rural regions need solutions as well, such as RIDE SHARE – Drivers & passengers sharing rides to work, school and events  – saving money, time, gas, and the environment. The Provincial Government needs to work with smaller Municipalities to create an interface that will help solve continued transportation woes.

 If there are readers out there that would like to consider a RIDE SHARE, I would be happy to commute. Whether to work or longer distance drives.

Live Rural NL 0

Christopher Mitchelmore

Winter road to Roddickton-Bide Arm

Road to Roddickton-Bide Arm

The Town of Roddickton-Bide Arm is nestled on the North Eastern part of the Great Northern Peninsula and is an untapped location for winter tourism. The abundance of snow, trees, wildlife, mountains and sunshine makes for a picturesque day.  
One should take the opportunity to visit the Town  – take a walk, snowshoe, ski or snowmobile on some of the trails. If you are hungry, stop by the Lumberjack’s Landing or Mayflower Inn for some local grub. You can even stay at the Mayflower for a night or two.  
Roddickton has been coined the Moose Capital of the World. On my last two visits I have seen moose. During my last trip on March 24, 2011, I saw two caribou crossing the road. I slowed down, pulled out my camera – but they had disappeared into the forest.   

The view from above

 One simply can not be disappointed by the mountains in the background that are snow-covered. You may opt to take a side trip to the Town of Conche just 28 kms away.
It is now April 11, 2011 and there is still an abundance of snow and great snowmobiling on the hills. There is still an opportunity for those who wish to enjoy the scenic beauty of the what the Great Northern Peninsula has to offer this season. If you are not able, mark your calendars for the 2012 season!
Live Rural NL 0
Christopher Mitchelmore

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