Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil says if necessary he will raise concerns with various levels of government if a dispute over upgrades to the ferry terminal in Portland, Maine, ultimately threatens the future of the Cat high-speed ferry.

Officials in Portland are resisting the upgrades the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Service says are needed to meet federal standards in the U.S. Those upgrades could cost up to $9 million.

McNeil says the province is looking at its options to ensure the ferry link between Portland and Yarmouth, N.S., remains operational.

Ferry expected next year

When asked whether that would include funding, the premier would only say that there's been no request for money.

Yarmouth Ferry

The CAT high-speed ferry was built in 2007 and is owned by the U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Command. (Bay Ferries Ltd.)

Transportation Minister Lloyd Hines says the Cat's operator, Bay Ferries, is dealing with the ongoing discussions between authorities in the U.S.

Hines says the province expects there will be a ferry service next year and into the future.