Idled Nova Scotia to Maine ferry cost province extra $4-million in 2019

The Nova Scotia government says the heavily subsidized ferry service that links the province with Maine cost taxpayers an extra $4 million as it sat idle for the entire 2019 sailing season.

Education Minister Zach Churchill released the figure Friday following an announcement by operator Bay Ferries that it will begin sailing this year between Yarmouth, N.S., and Bar Harbor, Maine, on June 26.

Churchill, who represents the Yarmouth riding, says the overrun is related to costs associated with tying up the ferry and upgrading U.S. terminal.

It brings the total cost to the province last year to $17.8 million.

The season was scrapped last year when Bay Ferries was unable to get construction work completed in order to meet U.S. Customs and Border Protection specifications at the Bar Harbor ferry terminal.

Bay Ferries says tickets are now on sale for the upcoming season, although it says some work remains to be completed in Bar Harbor and sailings could commence earlier or later than the target date, depending on when U.S. authorities approve the terminal work.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb 21, 2020.

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