Gagetown Ferry's return remains undecided
On Friday, the hopes of Gagetown, N.B. residents who want to see the town’s ferry back in service were dampened. 2019 marks Gagetown’s fourth consecutive tourism season without ferry service – however, New Brunswick’s transportation minister says service by Fall is unlikely.
In 2016, the New Brunswick government put the Gagetown Ferry out of service as a cost-saving measure – a decision many residents in the area have never accepted.
Farmer, Hugh Harmon says the farming community and tourism industry in Gagetown have been impacted by the lack of a ferry service. He, like many people, was hoping for the government to announce news about the ferry’s return.
"I definitely would like to see it this fall, because it would be nice to get the infrastructure back in place,” says Harmon. “Even if it's just for a couple of months, it would be really nice to have ferry service."
However, on Friday, transportation authorities would only say that they are working on the situation.
"We made a commitment to the community that we would look at every option to restore service to the Gagetown community – and that's what we're continuing to do," said transportation minister, Bill Oliver.
Oliver also commented on the possibility of the ferry returning in 2019, which he said was unlikely to happen.
"Rationally speaking, we were looking at having service restored in the Gagetown area for a seasonal ferry which would run from May to sometime in November to accommodate their Christmas in the village,” said Oliver. “So, to get a boat back in October and put it up there for one month just doesn't seem feasible at this point."
Despite his announcement, Oliver isn't ruling out purchasing or leasing a suitable ferry for Gagetown –but he says no decisions have been made.
Meanwhile, the town’s residents anxiously await a decision about the ferry.
"The people that come to eat here, that's all they're asking about. ‘When did you hear it's coming back? Did you hear anything about it?’” says restaurant owner, Ancy Mallory. “If this does not happen, it won't be nice because everybody is going to be so disappointed."
With files from CTV Atlantic's Mike Cameron