Got milk? No, thanks to heavy ice across the Strait of Belle Isle

Got milk? No, thanks to heavy ice across the Strait of Belle Isle

Heavy ice in the Strait of Belle Isle is causing more than just travel troubles for many people — some store shelves are bare. 

"We're missing the essential items for healthy living," says Port Hope Simpson Mayor Margaret Burden, who also owns P&B Enterprises, a store in the town.

"There is not much in the line of fresh fruit, vegetables or milk and yogurt, that type of food that all of us need so much."

She said canned and packaged goods — which carry a longer shelf life —are still available because those items arrived in store before ice issues began. But Burden said trucks carrying perishables are unable to cross the Strait via ferry, noting the store has been out of milk for 11 days.

"This winter has been a very drastic, terrible winter. There has been mountains of snow, and mountains and mountains of ice. It's a far different winter than we've had for quite a number of years," Burden told CBC Radio's Labrador Morning. 

Fly in food

Burden said the provincial government should be looking skyward for a "small-scale" solution.

"Have an air freight carrier bring something in periodically, once a week or something. Now mind you, you wouldn't get a lot of things come in. Planes can only take so much," she said. 

As for the long-term solution, Burden is echoing the call from other politicians and residents that the MV Apollo must be replaced. 

"[It's] not equipped for mountains of ice to begin with … so the answer to it is to provide a better transportation system to the people who live in Labrador," Burden said. 

So when are more fruits and vegetables expected?

"Whenever [the trucks] can cross. We are waiting, always waiting."