Maritime Truckers Fear New Ferry Will Leave Them Behind

SAINT JOHN, N.B.- Truckers in Atlantic Canada are concerned the replacement ferry on the Saint John, New Brunswick to Digby, Nova Scotia route won’t be able to handle commercial traffic on the route.

The new ferry is due to arrive in the Maritimes in the next few days from the Greek Islands and will replace the 40-year-old Princess of Acadia ferry, which currently travels the Nova Scotia-New Brunswick route.

The $45-million ferry is faster than the Princess of Acadia and can accommodate more passengers and cars, but fewer trucks, according to CTV News reports.

The ferry saves truckers money, said Horst Puff, a truck driver currently hauling Christmas trees from Nova Scotia to the U.S., and “in one round trip, up to 14 hours driving.”

“We have lots of runs of Christmas trees down to the States, down to New England states, down to Virginia Beach and so on,” Horst said.

And some truckers fear that during peak times, some trucks won’t make it onto the ferry.

Truck driver Chad Melason told CTV News that on a busy day, there could be as many as 20 to 25 trucks waiting to get on the ferry.

Even Saint John MP Rodney Weston said the new ferry will meet the needs of both tourists and truckers most of the time. He said that when there’s heavier traffic and more demand, they’ll consider extra crossings.

“If it handles less trucks, in the busy season, in the lobster season, they should run twice a day,” said Brian Wentzell, a Maritime truck driver.

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