Nova Scotia

Nova Star Cruises receives final $1.9M subsidy from province

The operators of the Nova Star ferry have received the final $1.9 million subsidy they requested from the province, bringing the total amount of funding the ferry has received this year to the capped amount of $13 million.

Operator of ferry between Yarmouth and Maine has received $41.5M from the province in 2 years

The operators of the Nova Star received $13 million this year and $28.5 million last year in subsidies from the province for operating the ferry. (Angela MacIvor/CBC)

The operators of the Nova Star ferry have received the final $1.9 million subsidy they requested from the province, bringing the total amount of funding the ferry has received this year to the capped amount of $13 million.

The beleaguered ferry service has received a total of $41.5 million from the Nova Scotia government.

"When you look at what's been allocated over two years, is there frustrations on behalf of Nova Scotians? No question," Transportation Minister Geoff MacLellan told reporters on Thursday.

"I hear it at my constituency, I hear it through the department level."

The ferry has also missed its passenger goals both years it's been in service. The number of passengers this year fell to 51,038, down from its inaugural year in 2014 when 59,018 passengers took the ferry.

It was a far cry from the 100,000 passengers Nova Star Cruises had hoped for in 2014. This year it was hoping for 80,000.

On Friday afternoon, transportation department officials will be holding a meeting to try to pick an operator to run the ferry service next year. It doesn't appear a final decision will be made today.

Besides a proposal from the current operator, the province is currently reviewing proposals from three other companies interested in running the service.

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