The Town of Norman Wells is asking residents to share their personal stories about how they will be affected by Canadian North’s flight reduction.
The municipality’s appeal comes after the airline announced in April that the number of flights it offers between Norman Wells and Yellowknife will be halved.
Canadian North president Michael Rodyniuk told the CBC the route to Norman Wells was not worth the cost for the airline, given the low number of passengers on each flight. Norman Wells-based airline North-Wright has stepped up the number of flights it offers in response.
In a message to residents on Monday, the town asked the community and its businesses to share in a survey how they’ll be impacted by the cuts.
Personal stories could help “educate others of the realities of living in a northern fly-in community,” the town wrote. The survey is available here.
Forms are also available at the town office, Ramparts and the Northern store.
Mayor Frank Pope said the survey is about much more than the airline cuts. He described the cuts as the “tip of the iceberg.”
“Once this thing started with Canadian North, we took a look at all our costs,” he told Cabin Radio. “The cost of fuel, the cost to put gasoline in your car, the atrocious cost we pay for groceries.”
Pope said responses to the survey will be put into a “business plan” he plans to take to Canadian North and the federal and territorial governments. “We’re going to get our community involved in how this could affect them,” Pope said.
According to the town’s message, Pope has met with Rodyniuk and airline staff to discuss the effect on the community.
The airline is “pursuing changes to mitigate possible impacts to our community,” according to that message.
Pope said discussions with the airline have gone well and the two parties are working together, with the mayor hoping to get some seats reinstated for Norman Wells passengers.
He said the town expects to hear back from Canadian North soon.