N.B. protesters demand ferry service to Deer Island be maintained

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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BUTLERS POINT, N.B. - Residents of Deer Island don't want a private operator to run their ferry service.
About a dozen people gathered at the ferry landing on the island Wednesday to protest changes to the service.
"Privatization of the Deer Island ferry could be enacted as early as October, yet the process and all discussions are being conducted behind closed doors," said protester Brooke Young, reading from a statement.
Young demanded that provincial Fisheries Minister Rick Doucet, member for Charlotte-The Isles, clarify his apparent difference with cabinet colleagues over how often ferries will run to and from Deer Island through the winter.
In his budget speech in March, Finance Minister Victor Boudreau announced "seasonal adjustments" to the ferries from January to May - with one boat offering hourly service, rather than two boats with trips every half hour.
The reduction will go into effect as planned Jan. 1 in order to trim $300,000 from his departmental budget, Transportation Minister Denis Landry has said.
But Doucet maintains the service will continue unchanged.
He said he began meeting with the West Isles local service district advisory committee immediately after Boudreau tabled his budget to find other ways to trim $300,000 from the cost.

Geographic location: Deer Island, BUTLERS POINT

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