N.L. minister says food supply safe after shipping company raises concerns

A provincial cabinet minister is advising Newfoundlanders and Labradorians not to panic buy groceries after a major shipping company suggested shipments to Newfoundland could be reduced due to the pandemic.

Sid Hynes, chairman of shipping company Oceanex, told CBC Monday that weekly deliveries of food and other supplies to St. John’s may be affected without a federal subsidy to cover his company’s losses.

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He said Oceanex is about $2 million short of its required weekly operating costs due to the pandemic.

On Tuesday, provincial Justice Minister Andrew Parsons posted on Twitter that the situation is not as dire as reported, and Crown corporation Marine Atlantic can handle increased cargo.

Parsons wrote there is no need for hoarding or fear because of the news.

Progressive Conservative Leader Ches Crosbie, who leads the official Opposition, says federal and provincial governments should outline their plans to ensure a secure supply chain of food to the island.

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