Welcome To
Acadia Broadcasting NewsThe Latest and Greatest ContentYour Trusted Local Source


The Campobello Island ferry. Image: Steve Mackin

Campobello needs year-round ferry service: mayor

By Brad Perry Nov 28, 2023 | 6:24 AM

The mayor of Campobello Island is calling for a year-round ferry service for his community.

East Coast Ferries recently announced that its seasonal service between Campobello and Deer Island will end for the season on Dec. 30.

Harvey Matthews said without the ferry, the only way on and off the island is by bridge through Lubec, Maine.

That means a round trip to New Brunswick or other parts of Canada requires crossing the border four times when the ferry is not operating.

“There are a lot of residents that can’t go through the United States. They’re relying on [the ferry] for their basic needs,” said Matthews.

Matthews said some of the services and items that the island requires can only be shipped there by ferry.

As an example, air tanks and anything with a lithium battery for the fire department cannot come through the states, he said.

The ferry typically runs from June through September but has been operating continuously since June 2020 due to restrictions on border travel as a result of the pandemic.

New Brunswick had been subsidizing the extended service on a month-to-month basis at a cost of around $60,000 a month.

In a statement on Friday, a spokesperson for the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure said this year’s subsidization was extended through November to maintain this transportation link for residents.

“The province has not committed to providing provincial funding for the ferry service outside of border travel restrictions and has brought the issue to the attention of the federal Minister of Transport Canada on several occasions,” wrote Tyler McLean.

Matthews said he has brought the community’s concerns to their local MLA and MP in hopes they can get year-round service.

The mayor said he understands that seven-day-a-week service all year long may not be feasible for the island and its roughly 1,000 residents.

But he said the service that was provided during the off-season over the past two years — four days a week, weather permitting — was better than nothing.

“We just came off a $1-billion surplus and that ferry was running during that surplus so I don’t think we hurt the tax base too much,” said Matthews.