Feds commit to ferry service

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PICTOU – The federal agreement laid out a long-term commitment today (May 5) to the local ferry service.

Central Nova MP Sean Fraser and Cardigan MP Lawrence MacAulay joined P.E.I. Premier Wade MacLaughlan during the announcement that took place in Belfast, P.E.I.

The long-term federal commitment is to support ferry service operated by Northumberland Ferries Limited between Wood Islands, P.E.I. and Caribou, N.S., as well as the service between Saint John, N.B. and Digby, N.S. operated by Bay Ferries Limited.

Mark MacDonald, who chairs both companies, welcomed the announcement.

“We are pleased, for our customers, our employees and the communities we serve that the Government of Canada is making a strong and long-term commitment to the Wood Islands/Caribou and Saint John/Digby ferry services,” he said in a statement.

The lease agreement includes eventually replacing the two ferries that cross the Northumberland Strait. The Confederation is 25 years old, having been built in Pictou in 1992. The Holiday Island was built in 1971.

Both vessels have been idle several times for long periods of time due to repairs. NFL offered a single-ferry service for most of its 2016 season.

“This is a terrific news day for our region. This is a huge deal for Pictou County and the Maritimes,” said Central Nova MP Sean Fraser.