The province is taking steps to ensure the Yarmouth ferry service is not disrupted.
Nova Star Cruises will continue to provide ferry service from Yarmouth to Maine until the end of the 2015 sailing season.
“We have always been committed to a service from Yarmouth.
Key for me with today’s decision is doing what’s in the best interest of Nova Scotians, namely, stability and continuity of service,” said Geoff MacLellan, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. “Nova Star will finish out the about eight weeks left in the season. At the same time, we are considering our options for 2016. We’ve had expressions of interest from three potential service providers. Discussions with them, along with Nova Star, are ongoing.
“I had hoped to announce an operator for 2016 this week, however, I’ve decided to take more time to make sure we get this right for Nova Scotians for the long term.”
On Aug. 6, Mr. MacLellan said Nova Star Cruises would need to submit supporting financial documentation to get more payments of public money.
“Nova Star Cruises submitted 2014 financial information as requested. I continue to be disheartened with how difficult it is to get information from the operators to support disbursing public money. This is unacceptable.
“The operator has to be fully accountable when using public funds. Until we review the remaining financial data we just received for the 2015 season, we will not be issuing any further money.”
Government committed $13 million for 2015. As of Aug. 20, Nova Star has received $8.1 million.
“We remain committed to a ferry service from Yarmouth and believe it is having a positive impact on the community and for Nova Scotia,” said Mr. MacLellan. “Our goal with any future decisions about the operation of the service is to achieve stability and ensure we have the right service at the right price for Nova Scotia.”
The 2015 sailing season finishes Oct. 14.