Committee eyes year-round ferry for Campobello Island
Island has been without seasonal ferry all summer
Campobello Island has been without its seasonal ferry service all summer, and now a group wants to study the feasibility of a year-round ferry to the island.
The Campobello Year-Round Ferry Development Committee is raising money for a study into whether the Bay of Fundy island can support a year-round connection to mainland Canada.
Brent MacPherson started the committee after he and his husband, who is originally from Campobello, moved to the island last year.
"I started talking to people, formed the committee," MacPherson said.
"We basically contacted all levels of government."
The seasonal ferry that connects Campobello to Deer Island hasn't run all summer, and there is no set date for when it will reopen.
The only way for islanders to reach the rest of New Brunswick is to take a bridge to the U.S. and drive through Maine, which takes at least an hour, not including time spent at the border.
Difficult crossing border
MacPherson said he's seen fewer tourists on the island this summer, and it's hurting business.
The border has also become more difficult to deal with.
"The political climate in the United States, that we on a daily basis, just to get to our country, we have to go through two borders," MacPherson said.
"It's becoming more difficult."
MacPherson's husband works in Saint Andrews three days a week, which means crossing the boarder at least 12 times a week.
Even when just going across the border for errands, it's not easy.
"What we've endured at U.S. Customs just since last August … we've pulled into U.S. Customs and [been] flagged and everything about six times now," said MacPherson.
Even though Campobello has a constant connection to the mainland via the bridge to Lubec, Maine, MacPherson said islanders deserve more.
"Just the whole thing to deal with two border crossings to get to your own country, I feel that it's a right that islanders be connected to the mainland and to Canada," he said.
That's not to say there haven't been concerns about a year-round ferry.
MacPherson said he's heard some people worried a ferry would lead to the closure of the island school, which has low enrolment, and to more drugs being brought into the community.
"I can assure all those things are going to be addressed as much as possible," he said.
MacPherson said he's optimistic that opening a year-round ferry would benefit Campbobello.
"I see things opening up, things that could be on Campobello, that could employ people," said MacPherson.
"I see many, many good things eventually."
With files from Information Morning Saint John