Nova Star ferry to get another $2M promised from Nova Scotia
$2M is part of $13M the province has already pledged to keep the ferry going this year
The Nova Scotia government has spent another $2 million of the $13 million promised this year to assist the operators of the ferry between Yarmouth and Portland, Maine.
Michel Samson, the Minister of Rural and Economic Development Tourism, said with the latest payment, Nova Star Cruises has received $4 million of the amount promised for the upcoming sailing season, which is scheduled to begin June 1.
He also said the owners of the ferry, ST Marine, have agreed to contribute $3 million.
That amount was part of the original deal signed by the province and ferry backers, although Samson can't say when the money is coming or what it will be used for.
"The whole concept here is that the financial pressures of the province will be reduced by $3 million," he said.
"The specific details of how that will take place is what we'll be in a position to share once the lawyers have finalized the documents."
Samson said that should happen soon.
Ferry carried 59,000 passengers last year
The ferry company has already drawn on $2 million of the $13 million the province has pledged to keep the ferry running this year.
Nova Star Cruises said the latest payment will help it cover the costs of a number of expenses including recertification, vessel maintenance and repair, and sales and marketing.
During its inaugural season in 2014, the ferry carried 59,000 passengers. The province said those passengers spent $13 million in Nova Scotia.
In 2014, taxpayers spent $28.5 million on the Nova Star, including burning through a $21-million, seven-year subsidy during the first two months of its inaugural season.
Ferry service resumed last year after a four-year hiatus. The previous New Democratic government cancelled a provincial subsidy on the grounds it was too expensive.