On Thursday, the province authorized the expenditure of the remaining $2.1 million left from the envelope of $21 million announced by the NDP government last September.
Economic and Rural Development Minister Michel Samson said it had become very evident to cabinet that the deal announced by the previous government was more of a political deal than a natural economical, reality deal.
“Anyone who looks at ferry services that exist in North America, pretty well every one of them is subsidized,” he said.
“They are part of transportation links like our roads and highways and they require money. They don’t make money,” he said. Minister Samson used the Saint John/Digby ferry service, the Newfoundland ferries and P.E.I. ferry as examples, saying those are transportation links that governments have to pay money to maintain.
“Looking back at the time we had concerns when the deal was announced but when we got into office we wanted to do our best to see it through and give the deal a chance.
“ It became blatantly obvious today that this deal was unrealistic from Day One and we’ve now already reached the maximum amount of money that was set aside for this,” he said.
The funding being provided is for the operation of the ferry. With revenue based on ridership, the fixed costs that are encountered on a daily/monthly basis have to be addressed.
Minister Samson pointed out that of the $21 million envelope provided, there were unanticipated pressures that included a $2-million bond…
Province: | Section : News