Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Alaska doesn't blink after Ferry Terminal moves by Ottawa

Making the issue of the Prince Rupert Alaska Ferry Terminal an item of cross border tensions hasn't moved the Alaska Government much from its original position.

With word today that our northern neighbour won't be taking the "Buy America" provisions out of its bid process for the re-construction of the Fairview location terminus for the AMHS.

Yesterday, Canada announced that it was making plans to use a rarely acted upon sanction mechanism to express dissatisfaction with the Buy American aspect of the proposed project.

Today Alaska delivered its answer to that move by Ottawa.

Both the Vancouver Sun and Vancouver Province (see Sun article here) have items posted today, that outline the stay the course position of Alaska Governor Bill Walker and the Alaska Government on the topic.

With an Alaskan government official explaining that the Alaska Government is proceeding with the ongoing call-for-tenders process and will deal with the Canadian response, if and when that move is taken.

Patricia Eckert, the Associate Director of International trade, also observed that the Alaska Government is prepared to continue AMHS service to Prince Rupert, making use of the existing facilities for the next several years, or until the dispute is sorted out.

That last note, will provide some welcome reassurance to Tourism Prince Rupert officials, who have expressed concern in recent weeks over the possible impact on North Coast tourism, should the dispute escalate.

Scott Farwell, from Tourism Prince Rupert appeared on CBC Radio's Daybreak North program this morning to outline those concerns, you can listen to that interview here.

The Globe and Mail offers a more expanded review of today's developments here.

See our Transportation Archives for more background on the ongoing tensions over the Buy America provisions and other related items on Ferry Transportation on the North Coast.

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