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Province Disappointed With CAT Passenger Numbers, Will Review Service

By Kevin Northup Sep 9, 2022 | 9:05 AM

(Acadia News Photo)

The ferry service between Yarmouth and Bar Harbor, Maine will be reviewed at the end of the season.

The CAT resumed crossings this year after three seasons off due to the pandemic and renovations to the terminal in the U.S.

Public Works Minister Kim Masland told reporters yesterday, ridership numbers are disappointing, as they are still below pre-pandemic levels.

She says government will analyze the results this fall.

“And we will do the right thing to make sure that Nova Scotians are getting the best value and the best service that they deserve from their tax-dollars,” says Masland.

She says that could include the cancellation of their contract with Bay Ferries, which expires in 2026.

Masland says they will look at the travel market, and the value of the service to the tourism industry.

Bay Ferries anticipates the CAT will carry between 37 and 41-thousand passengers this year, down from 50-thousand in 2018.

Opposition Reaction

Opposition leader Zach Churchill isn’t happy with the province’s view on the CAT ferry.

He shared his thoughts following cabinet yesterday.

“I find that very concerning, especially considering the fact that we’re hitting, and are projected to hit, about 96% of pre-pandemic numbers.”

The Yarmouth MLA adds the ferry is having a strong impact helping to rebuild tourism in southwestern Nova Scotia.

Churchill says the communities represented by PCs in southwestern Nova Scotia benefit from the ferry service.

“And they know it. We need our conservative MLAs from this part of the province to stand up and speak up to their party and premier on behalf of the people of this region.”

Churchill specifically called on MLA’s Colton LeBlanc, Jill Balser, Nolan Young and Kim Masland.


With files from Jakob Postlewaite


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