Nova Scotia

Yarmouth ferry to resume in May

The ferry between Yarmouth, N.S. and the United States will resume May 1, 2014, according to Nova Scotia's economic development minister.

Ferry deal is '99 per cent' done, says minister

The ferry will run between Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, and Portland, Maine. (Government of Nova Scotia)

The ferry between Yarmouth, N.S. and the United States will resume May 1, 2014, according to Nova Scotia’s economic development minister, but the province is still waiting on three caveats before they sign the deal.

Graham Steele delivered the update on a local radio station on Thursday.

"We have a deal," said Steele. "For practical purposes it's 99 per cent done."

Last month, Steele announced that STM Quest Inc.. was the winning bidder to restart the service between the province and Maine. STM Quest is a joint venture between ST Marine Ltd. and Quest Navigation.

The province is waiting for a finalized joint-venture agreement between ST Marine and Quest Navigation, all of the required licences and permits and an agreed schedule.

Steele said said the vessel’s owners and STM Quest partners still have to sign the deal in Singapore, where the ferry is located, and the province will sign last.

The Yarmouth terminal needs to be upgraded before service between Maine and Nova Scotia can restart, said Steele.

Bay Ferries Ltd., which used to operate the service, announced in December 2009 that it would cancel the money-losing route after the Nova Scotia government said it could no longer provide an annual $6-million subsidy.

People in the community said they were devastated by the loss of the service, which they consider to be a vital economic link.

The provincial government offered $21-million over seven years to restart the service.