PEI

Standing committee to hold public meeting on P.E.I. ferry service

The first public meeting about the importance of the ferry service for P.E.I. is being held Thursday in Wood Islands after Progressive Conservative MLA Darlene Compton made a request for government support.

Meeting will be held in Wood Islands

Cardigan MP Lawrence MacAuley's private member bill would obtain secure funding for ferry service between Wood Islands and Caribou. (Julia Cook/CBC)

The first public meeting about the importance of the ferry service for P.E.I., is being held Thursday in Wood Islands after Progressive Conservative MLA Darlene Compton made a request for government support.

"I submitted a letter to the Standing Committee on Education and Economic Development about a month ago to get them to review the ferry issue that we've had all summer."

Compton told Mainstreet host Angela Walker she had been hearing from people from eastern P.E.I. about the impact of having only one ferry in service all summer.

The MV Holiday Island was taken out of service for the season when it was determined it needed more steel work. The MV Confederation was the only ferry running between Wood Islands and Caribou, N.S.

Rather than the regular nine runs per day both ferries used to make, the MV Confederation has been making five runs, which some felt was not enough.

Impact felt

Compton said she was told of the impact felt by tourist operators, campgrounds, restaurants and trucking companies of having only one ferry in operation.

Belfast-Murray River MLA Darlene Compton says the premier and government need to hear from the people affected by the ferry service. (CBC)
"I thought it was really important that the standing committee come down to Wood Islands and hear from interested stakeholders on just how important and how impactful it is that we had a decrease in service."

Numbers from PEI Tourism show that year to date, ferry traffic is down 12.3 per cent and was down by 22 per cent in August.

Compton said the premier and government needed to hear and understand how important the ferry service is to eastern P.E.I. and the overall economy of the island.

"By having this meeting, not only do stakeholders get to voice their opinions but government is there to listen."

The meeting is Sept. 22 at 7 p.m. at the Plough the Waves Centre in Wood Islands.

With files from Mainstreet

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