Compton pleased at support for new ferry
Wood Islands – Belfast-Murray River MLA Darlene Compton is pleased with the support from the community and a legislative committee for calls for a new ferry between Wood Islands and Nova Scotia.
“As many speakers said at last night’s meeting, one ferry is not a service in this day and age. I’ve been saying for months that we need to have a long-term plan that looks at strengthening the ferry service and not just maintaining it. With the age of the fleet now that has to include looking at a new ferry. So I’m glad that the community and my fellow MLA’s agreed with that idea and expressed support for it because the future of this service is so vital to the Island economy,” said Compton.
Compton made her comments following a meeting of the Standing Committee on Education and Economic Development about the Wood Islands ferry held in Wood Islands last evening. Compton had requested that the committee travel to hear first hand from affected stakeholders, businesses, ferry workers, truckers and residents.
Multiple speakers endorsed a call for a long-term plan that involves a new ferry to replace the MV Holiday Island, now approaching fifty years of age. Many speakers and ferry workers also noted that the MV Confederation is nearing twenty-five years of age and has had to shoulder a heavy load this season as the only operational ferry. MLA and committee member Kathleen Casey also publicly endorsed the call for a new ferry.
Compton also secured unanimous approval for the committee to hold further hearings into the issue and invite federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau to present on the issue, along with stakeholders such as Northumberland Ferried Limited.
“It’s important to understand how we got to this point so those mistakes can be avoided in the future. It’s also very important that we have a long-term plan for the service that involves securing a new ferry to strengthen the service and the economy of the province. That’s why we need to hear directly from the federal Transport minister and for the Minister to hear directly from Islanders,” said Compton.