Ontario Libs like proposed Lake Erie ferry, but not if it’ll cost

PORT DOVER, Ont. (May 12, 2005) — The McGuinty government has responded to U.S. Congressman Phil English’s funding request for a Port Dover-Erie, Pa. cargo and passenger ferry: Sound great, but don’t expect any cash from us, was the essential message.

The Hamilton Spectator reports that the Ontario Ministry of Transportation backs a Lake Erie ferry in theory, but would not be willing to pay for it. Ministry spokesperson Danna O’Brien told the newspaper that international ferries are the feds’ responsibility.

Transport Canada then told Spectator that Ottawa doesn’t have any funding for ferries, except where there’s a constitutional demand-Marine Atlantic, for example.

That’s not the case in the U.S. where the government has set aside $70 billion for ferry projects. The Erie-Western Pennsylvania Port Authority is looking for its share, and The State of Pennsylvania is expected to provide $4 million to build a dock and terminal in Erie.

English wrote to Premier Dalton McGuinty last week, asking the province to commit to funding for a terminal and harbour improvements needed for the ferry service. He said the service could help relive traffic congestion at the Peace Bridge linking Fort Erie, Ont. and Buffalo, N.Y.

The proposed ferry would have a passenger service — with capacity for 250 people and 46 cars — combined with a truck freight service from Nanticoke to Erie, Pa. It would make up to five return sailings.

— from the Hamilton Spectator

Have your say

This is a moderated forum. Comments will no longer be published unless they are accompanied by a first and last name and a verifiable email address. (Today's Trucking will not publish or share the email address.) Profane language and content deemed to be libelous, racist, or threatening in nature will not be published under any circumstances.