Ferry funding extended to March 2016, federal government announces

Published on July 16, 2014

Northumberland Ferries is beginning its Wood Islands, P.E.I. to Caribou, Nova Scotia ferry service effective May 1. Guardian file photo.

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.

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.