News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

July 31, 2017


Arrival of New Cable Ferry, Resurfacing of Provincial Road to Norway House to be Completed in Coming Months: Premier

NORWAY HOUSE CREE NATION—A new cable ferry will soon be in operation and a major resurfacing project underway, which will ensure safe and reliable access to Norway House, Premier Brian Pallister announced here today.

“Our government is committed to strategic infrastructure investments that directly support economic growth, while enhancing access to our northern communities,” said Pallister.  “The investment in a new cable ferry and resurfacing of PR 373 are vitally important to the health, culture and economic prosperity of people living and visiting in the region.”

The premier also noted an additional $2 million will be spent in 2018-19 to improve traffic signals and crosswalks at Rossville on PR 373.  This will enhance pedestrian and vehicle safety, he added.

Pallister made the announcement while attending the annual Treaty and York Boat Days. He was joined by Chief Ron Evans of Norway House Cree Nation and the mayor of the community of Norway House, Cristo Spiess.

“As a growing and vibrant community of over 8,000 residents we are continuing to work hard on our community's economic, infrastructure and recreational facilities,” said Chief Evans.  “I would like to applaud the commitment of Premier Pallister and his government for the work in assisting in the development of our community with the traffic signals, crosswalk, new ferry and road improvement initiatives.  All of this helps keep our children, pedestrians and drivers safe and helps us continue our community and economic development facilitating tourists and others to visit the north and our community.”

“The completion of resurfacing on PR 373 and the addition of the new ferry will ensure safe, reliable,  year-round access to the community of Norway House including Cross Lake and thereby maintaining lower costs for all consumers,” said Spiess.  “PR 373 also provides access for inland communities such as Island Lake, Gods Lake Narrows and Oxford House during the winter season resulting with costs savings for residents in this area and for our province. Importantly as well is the ability to improve tourism opportunities in the region.  Our communities have a rich history dating back to the fur trade and the birth of our country.  These infrastructure improvements will help us share this history with so many more people.  We acknowledge and express our sincere appreciation and thanks to the government of Manitoba for making this a reality in our region.”

The $3 million, 90-foot long, 15 car ferry will replace the C.F. James Apetegon, which has been in operation since 1977.  The new ferry will be known as the C.F. Gilbert Laugher, named after Gilbert Laugher, who was born in Norway House in 1928 and one of the first ferry operators at Sea Falls.  Both the community and the Norway House Cree Nation were consulted on the naming of the ferry.

Construction of the new ferry began two years ago and it was launched in the Red River at Selkirk in September 2016.  The work will be completed next month and then the ferry will be moved across Lake Winnipeg to the Nelson River and portaged overland to Norway House Cree Nation.

The PR 373 highway surfacing project is located between the Minago River and PR 374.  The project is underway and expected to be complete by the fall, weather permitting, at a projected cost of $5.5 million.  This will complete the surfacing of the entire provincial road from PTH 6 to Norway House (172 kilometres).  Since 2006, the province has spent nearly $100 million upgrading and surfacing this provincial highway.

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