N.S. premier predicts full season for the CAT ferry service between Yarmouth, N.S. and Maine
Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston is predicting a full season for the CAT ferry service that runs between Yarmouth, N.S. and Maine.
“We know that the operation hasn’t had a full successful season by any real measurement that I can see in the past but my expectation is that this year, we’ll have a full season,” says Houston.
According to the Nova Scotia government, on average, each passenger contributes $2,200 in tourism revenue.
However, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has kept the ferry from operating since 2019.
Yarmouth's mayor says she is looking forward to the ferry's return.
“The fisheries are our mainstay but second to that is tourism. It’s huge,” says Yarmouth Mayor Pam Mood. “Everything from fixed roof accommodations to our restaurants, individual shops, gas stations, everything.”
The return of the international ferry will also provide an opportunity to test some new infrastructure.
The federal government, the province of Nova Scotia, the town of Yarmouth and the municipalities of Yarmouth and Argyle shared the cost of upgrades to the terminal which until now, hasn't welcomed one passenger.
“It was a multi-million dollar project here in Yarmouth, so it’ll be nice to get that off the ground and let’s get using it,” Mood says.
Though it hasn't made a crossing in two years, Nova Scotia has provided more than $1 million annually in management fees to Bay Ferries.
As for what's expected in year one of the boat's return, Public Works Minister Kim Masland didn't want to make any assumptions, but said ferry operators and the province have an agreement that must be honoured.
"We have a contract. We have a contract until 2026 and both parties are expected to meet the requirements in the contract,” says Masland.
The CAT ferry is expected to run from May until October.