Ferry funding extended to March 2016, federal government announces

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Northumberland Ferries has had its funding extended to March 2016, the federal government announced today.

New funding will ensure the ferry service between Wood Islands, Prince Edward Island and Caribou, Nova Scotia operates until March 31, 2016.

Transport Minister Lisa Raitt announced $58 million over the next two years to support ferry services in the region. That funding is for ferry services between Saint John, New Brunswick and Digby, Nova Scotia and between Iles-de-la-Madeleine, Quebec and Souris, Prince Edward Island as well as the ferry between Wood Islands and Caribou.

The funding will be used to support operations and to maintain and repair ferry assets.

“Our government understands the importance of these ferry services to the economic sustainability of Eastern Canada,” Raitt said in a statement.

“This investment will enhance the safety and efficiency of the services while greatly benefitting the transport, trade and tourism industries in the region."

Raitt said the government of Canada remains committed to working with the provinces and local communities on a long-term approach for these services.

“Our government understands the importance of these ferry services to the economic sustainability of Eastern Canada,” Transport Minister Lisa Raitt

The Wood Islands to Caribou ferry service is operated by Northumberland Ferries Ltd. for eight months of the year (May to December) and uses two of Transport Canada’s vessels — the MV Holiday Island and the MV Confederation.

Îles-de-la-Madeleine to Souris ferry service is operated by C.T.M.A. Traversier Ltée. (CTMA) using the Transport Canada-owned MV Madeleine.

Since 2006, the federal government has provided $111 million to support the Îles-de-la-Madeleine ferry service. This amount includes $14.6 million contributed since 2008, to extend the service to the winter months, thus providing a year-round service between Îles-de-la-Madeleine and Prince Edward Island.




Organizations: Transport Canada, Northumberland Ferries, CTMA

Geographic location: Wood Islands, Prince Edward Island, Iles-de-la-Madeleine Nova Scotia Eastern Canada Saint John New Brunswick Quebec MV Holiday Island

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Recent comments

  • Fact Checker
    July 17, 2014 - 02:58

    Explanation's "explanation" as it relates to what it cost the federal government to support Marine Atlantic's PEI ferry service is inaccurate. In the last full year of service (1996), Ottawa provided about $32 million for the service, which operated with a budget of about $55 million. In fact, the level of federal support in the recent years leading up to 1997, when the Confederation Bridge replaces the ferry service, was declining as the service generated more revenue from fares, terminal and onboard concessions and other sources, as well as did a more stringent job of controlling costs.

  • Confused
    July 16, 2014 - 14:23

    Wait; the federal government has spent $111 million tax dollars in 8 years, to assist ferry service to an island with a population of less than 13000 people? Is the ferry made of gold? Does the ferry service itself not make any money to fund itself? I can't see a population of 13k making too many trips too often, and being from eastern PEI, I can attest I don't know of many that make the trip to the Magdalens for tourism all that often either, so why has such a ridiculous amount been spent on this?

    • Explanation
      July 16, 2014 - 19:23

      CTMA operates 3 vessels - the car ferry from Souris as well as a cruise ferry from Montreal and a freight ferry from the Gaspe. They have also in recent years been operating a limited year-round service. Winter ferry service chews up a lot of fuel and staff hours and wear and tear on the ships. $13 million a year for a year round operation that has a ferry route 5 times longer distance than NS - PEI is actually very reasonable. The Marine Atlantic ferries at Borden took $55 million a year ($76 million in today's dollars).

  • Observer
    July 16, 2014 - 11:44

    Way to Lawrence! Ha! Ha!

  • Where's Lawrence?
    July 16, 2014 - 11:06

    I can't wait to see how Lawrence MacAulay tries to take credit for this.