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Small Labrador community concerned about loss of fuel source, nurse

BLACK TICKLE, N.L. – People in a small community in eastern Labrador say they’re growing increasingly concerned about the impending loss of their only nearby fuel source.

Joseph Keefe, the local service district chairman in Black Tickle, has asked federal Indigenous and Northern Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett for help since the only fuel operator in the area is set to leave at the end of summer.

In a letter, Keefe bluntly states that “if you don’t have fuel in the Labrador winter, you die.”

He says the nearest source is in Cartwright — a two-hour snowmobile ride away — and that Woodward’s, the current fuel provider, stayed for an extra year as a temporary solution.

But he says it’s not clear what the long-term plan will be other than an offer of extra drums after it is set to leave in September.

Black Tickle, which has just under 150 people, has no running water and budget cuts mean it’s losing its sole nurse practitioner. (VOCM)