Nova Scotia

Business leaders try to restore Yarmouth ferry

More people from the business community have joined the fight to re-establish ferry service between Yarmouth and Maine.

More people from the business community have joined the fight to re-establish ferry service between Yarmouth and Maine.

Former finance minister Neil LeBlanc, who now owns and operates N. Le Blanc Enterprises Ltd. — a fish and lobster wholesale company — is working with Keith Condon, the head of Tri-Star Industries, the company best known for its ambulances.

Condon said he thinks a fresh perspective from business communities might help to find a new ferry company.

LeBlanc acknowledged that the industry has changed since Bay Ferries Ltd. cancelled the service after the Nova Scotia government cut its subsidy in 2009.

"Whether it's security provisions or even the economy, but those are factors that will play into it," said LeBlanc. "Those things will change in time and they'll recover, so hopefully people will see an opportunity here and if they do, we're more than prepared to try to work with them."

Both say they'll do what they can to work with municipal politicians and others trying to restore the ferry.

"It's a difficult process, but I think for the support of our community that we've been asked to serve, and we're here," said LeBlanc. "We're going to take the process seriously, and we're going to do what we can to hopefully bring this thing forward, but there's a lot of work to be done and it's obviously going to take some time."

'No quick fixes'

Condon said there are no quick fixes.

"Well, there's no magic solution, just because we're involved doesn't mean suddenly there are going to be people flocking here to solve the problem," said Condon. "We feel with a business perspective, we can put a new light on it and we look for more detail and hopefully find a solution."

The two men hope to have ferry service back for next season, but say that will only happen if there is a strong business case.

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