Premiere of Nova Scotia Commits to Subsidizing New Ferry Service to Maine 

The Premier of Nova Scotia says he’s committed to subsidizing a new ferry service between Nova Scotia and Maine.Ferry service ended in 2009 when Bay Ferries Limited stopped running “The Cat” between Nova Scotia, Portland and Bar Harbor. The Nova Scotia Government said it could no longer subsidize the service.The Premiere says he is committed to finding a new operator and providing $21 million dollars over seven years to help get the new ferry service underway.An 80 page report on the revitalization says service to Portland would make the most sense financially and city leaders in Portland agree.”They did recommend Portland because of the cultural activities,” said Michael Brennan, mayor of Portland. “The fact that we are a tourist destination and they recognize Portland is an up-and-coming destination on the cruise ship route.”The fate of the ferry still hinges on whether officials in Nova Scotia can convince the Canadian federal government to finance the $21 million, plus, an additional $13 million to refurbish Yarmouth’s terminal facilities.If all goes as planned, Portland could reap the benefits from Canada’s investment.”…But,certainly when you put thousands and thousands of people on the streets or the restaurants or a hotel it is great for the city, commented W. Godfrey Wood, CEO of the Portland Chamber of Commerce. The ferry would actually be more of a cruise-style ship, unlike the high speed ‘Cat’ which lost $7 million dollars annually.One local business owner, Brewster Harding, is excited about reviving the service. He thinks the Canadian economy will once again support a ferry, adding that a cruise-style ship is a perfect fit for Portland’s downtown.”Portland is ideal for the cruise-type ferry because it is just ten hours over and ten hours back, a perfect two hour turn-around, so it is ideal for the operation.” The report on reviving the ferry also says it is unlikely the service would start before 2014.