To the Editor:
Tourism plays a large part to the overall economic wellbeing of Pictou County. We are fortunate to have a direct gateway to our province via the ferry service in Caribou. This gateway has allowed our local businesses to entice travelers to stop and stay a while on the North Shore. Even those tourists who have plans to travel to other places, such as Cape Breton, are lured to local eateries, gas stations, and museums.
When the gateway to our province is not operating at full capacity, we see the negative impact to businesses immediately. The MV Holiday Island is in dry dock in Quebec, therefore, the ferry service is operating on a reduced schedule. Many tourists choose to travel the Confederation Bridge as opposed to waiting long hours at the ferry terminal. When we close doors and make it difficult for tourists to get here, it is reasonable to expect that less tourists will visit. There is no opportunity to grab those valuable tourist dollars as they travel on to other parts of our province, bypassing the North Shore all together.
It is imperative that the federal government recognize the negative impact that this issue is having on local businesses. The government must immediately implement a short term solution so that local businesses can capitalize on what remains of the tourism season before it is too late.
MLA Pictou West