The new task force looking into the economics of the Wood Islands-Caribou ferry service is accepting public input until the end of April.

The task force was struck after only one of the two ferries — the MV Confederation — provided service last summer. The other ferry — the MV Holiday Island — was taken out of service for the season for maintenance work. 

The province is stressing the importance of the route between Caribou, N.S., and Wood Islands, P.E.I., to the federal government, which is responsible for ferry service.

"The Wood Islands ferry is a vital transportation link for trade and tourism in eastern Prince Edward Island, with economic spinoffs for communities right across our province," Rural and Regional Development Minister Pat Murphy said in a statement. "It is critical that stable, two-vessel ferry service continues, and as a province we will work together to ensure our voices are heard by the federal government."

Report in June

The task force is comprised of three residents from the eastern part of the Island — Ray Keenan of Rollo Bay, Audrey Shillabeer of Belfast and Scott Annear of Montague.

Recommendations from the task force are expected in June and will be shared by cabinet with the federal government.

The province says the goals of the task force are to highlight policy objectives, provide information on revenue, operational costs, long-term infrastructure and capital requirements and identify potential traffic for ferry service for the next five to 10 years. 

People can make submissions at www.princeedwardisland.ca/ferryinput.