Nova Scotia

Hundreds march for Yarmouth ferry

More than 300 people marched through the streets of Yarmouth, N.S., Sunday to demand the restoration of the ferry service to and from New England.
The Yarmouth ferry lost funding in 2009 and stopped running. ((CBC))

More than 300 people marched through the streets of Yarmouth, N.S., Sunday to demand the restoration of the ferry service to and from New England.

Business owners, politicians and concerned citizens gathered at the ferry terminal to try to get the attention of both the federal and provincial governments.

A similar protest was held last month.

March organizer Randy Donaldson said it's hard to ignore the economic losses that have been mounting since the province decided to discontinue its subsidy.

"The whole point of the exercise was to demand a meeting, to get the province and the feds together at the table," said Donaldson. "They need to resolve this ferry dilemma instead of leaving it in our lap."

The ferry service was shut down last year after the provincial government gave notice it would no longer provide $6 million in annual support to operator Bay Ferries.

"The provincial government has had rose-coloured glasses on for over a year saying that they can't afford the subsidy," said Donaldson. "Studies have shown that this ferry generates up to $25 million a year across the province of Nova Scotia."

Many businesses struggled with the drop in tourism last year and a local hotel shut its doors in February, citing declining occupancy rates because of the loss of ferry traffic.

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