Atlantic MPs call on feds to throw ferry a lifeline

YARMOUTH, N.S. — The effort to save the Digby-to-Saint John ferry link is being taken up by two Nova Scotia Liberal MPs who are urging Ottawa to subsidize the floundering service.

West Nova MP Robert Thibault and Saint John MP Paul Zed say federal dollars can keep the ferry afloat. They also suggested Transport Canada operate the ferry as a Crown corporation, as was done before Ottawa sold it in 1997.

Princess of Acadia may be anchored for good this fall

The feds already operate the Marine Atlantic ferry service between Port Aux Basques and North Sydney.

Bay Ferries, which operates the Princess of Acadia ferry on the Digby-to-Saint John run, announced in July that this fall would be the last sailing because high fuel and operational costs.

The vessel is slated to make its final, 72-km, three-hour trip across the Bay of Fundy on Oct. 31.

According to the Halifax Chronicle Herald, the two politicians raised the issues with fellow MPs at a national Liberal caucus meeting in Vancouver.

“This ferry service plays a key role in moving goods and people,” Mr. Thibault said in a news release. “Our tourism industry and our fishing industry depend on this ferry service,” he said.

“It is time that we re-evaluate the policy in Atlantic Canada to ensure that we have effective modes of transportation and if this means bringing Marine Atlantic back to our region, then we should move in that direction,” he said in the release.

— with files from the Chronicle Herald

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