Nova Scotia is being asked to provide financial guarantees that the new Yarmouth ferry will refund passengers for cancelled trips, more than two months before it makes its first voyage.
Nova Star Cruises wants Nova Scotia’s government to provide the financial guarantees, which are required by U.S. authorities.
Without the coverage, the ship would be refused clearance to leave its U.S. port of departure.
May day looming
Simon D’Entremont, deputy minister of economic development for the province, said the province has been asked to help with the trip-cancellation guarantee.
“We are in ongoing discussions with the company in regards to all of their needs for capital, of which that is one,” he said.
He did not say if the province will provide the money.
“There are a number of milestones they have met. There are a number more they’ll need to meet before the spring,” he said.
The Nova Scotia to Maine ferry is scheduled to start in May, but it still doesn’t have clearance to sell tickets in the U.S.
Nova Scotia has committed $21 million to restoring the ferry service, which will operate between Yarmouth and Portland.
The Liberal government has also made a second scheduled $2-million payment to the ferry company. It’s paid $4 million so far.
The federal government has pledged $2.5 million to upgrade the Yarmouth terminal.
Ferry coming from Singapore
Michel Samson, the minister for economic development, is confident the May date will be met.
“The province, we don’t run ferries. We’ve rendered into an agreement to restore that ferry service. The company, from all indications, is certainly doing everything possible to have those conditions met,” he said.
Nova Star did not respond to questions from CBC News. It told a Maine newspaper this week it’s confident the issues will be resolved soon.
The ferry that will run the route is in Singapore. It will begin its 16,000-kilometre journey next month.