Shipping delays means first Christmas for Nain family in new home won't happen

Editor's Note: This story is incorrect. CBC failed to contact Labrador Marine for comment. After publishing, Labrador Marine contacted CBC and provided shipping details and dates. The information indicates there were no delays related to the Kamutik W. The lumber in question was ordered from a Home Hardware store through Haynes Store in Nain. That shipment arrived in Goose Bay in late October. It is scheduled to be shipped to Nain on the Kamutik W's next sailing. The story indicates the Dickers did not receive any of their four shipments. Brandon Dicker confirms that three shipments have already been delivered to Nain. It is our practice not to remove articles after publication on as they form part of the public record.

Shipping delays to the north coast of Labrador have left a new family without the necessary supplies to get the house they are moving into renovated in time for the winter — and they say that means they'll be missing out on a big first in their new home.

"We were hoping to be in our new home for Christmas but it's not happening," Shannon Dicker said. "We don't have our own little time together to start our own tradition so it's disheartening."

She and her husband, Brendon, ordered supplies to renovate their house in August, about a month before their first child Hudson was born, but three months later, the materials they need to do the work still haven't arrived. 

Jacob Barker/CBC

The supplies are being transported by the Kamutik W, the new vessel providing passenger and cargo service to the north coast of Labrador. While Labrador Marine and the provincial government have defended the ship and its abilities, many have been critical of it, calling it unfit for the weather and the sea conditions in the region. 

"We're actually lucky to have inherited this house but it's tough getting the materials here once you order it," Brendon Dicker said. "The boat is having a slow process of delivering freight, I guess."

Jacob Barker/CBC

The couple returned to their hometown of Nain in July in order to be closer to family, but they knew right away work would have to be done on the house.

"When we got into the house, we immediately knew we had to do a bunch of repairs on it because the ceiling was leaking and there was rotten stuff in the floor in the bathroom," Shannon Dicker said.

"As we're going, we're finding more and more problems as renos go so here we are." 

No sign

Since there are no proper birthing facilities in Nain, the couple had to travel to Goose Bay a month in advance of the due date. They ordered supplies well in advance so they could get the work done. Brendon Dicker, who has worked in construction, was planning to dig in to the job right after returning from the birth.

"We thought what would come in one shipment, it's been now four shipments," Shannon Dicker said. "Now we don't know where our stuff is. We called the dock in Goose Bay. We don't know if it's in Makkovik, we don't know if it's in Goose Bay."

Jacob Barker/CBC

The bathroom is completely stripped. The nursery, the kitchen — pretty much the whole house needs to be worked over, and there is still no sign of when the shipment might arrive.

"We don't have the lumber that we need to do the repairs for like the bathroom, for the rot in the bathroom, we don't have the stuff for the porch as well," she said.

Labrador Marine has guaranteed all the cargo destined for the north coast will arrive before the waters become impassable for the winter. But even that will be too late for the Dicker family.

"There's stuff we're going to have to put off until next year now because the ground is starting to freeze and we can't dig and get at the foundation like we wanted to," said Shannon Dicker.

Jacob Barker/CBC

For now, they are staying at her parents, living out of boxes. 

"He's growing out of his clothes so quickly that we have have to dig through boxes and containers, looking for stuff because it's all stored in my parent's basement and my dad's warehouse for the store," she said. "We're lucky that he has storage for us. It's very challenging."

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