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FEDERAL BUDGET: Government announces new ferry for P.E.I. to Nova Scotia service

The MV Confederation, left, and Holiday Island are shown at the Wood Islands, P.E.I. ferry terminal.
(Guardian File Photo)
The MV Confederation, left, and Holiday Island are shown at the Wood Islands, P.E.I. ferry terminal. - SaltWire Network file photo

Commitment also includes replacement of P.E.I. to Magdalen Islands ferry

The federal government has made a long-term commitment to the ferry service between Wood Islands, P.E.I. to Caribou, N.S., says Cardigan MP Lawrence MacAulay.

Tuesday’s federal budget announced plans to replace the MV Holiday Island with a new ferry.

The budget also extended Transport Canada’s ferry services contribution program until 2022 with existing service levels and fleet size, which ensures two vessels will continue to operate between P.E.I. and Nova Scotia.

MacAulay, who has been a vocal advocate for the ferry, said he was pleased to see the commitment to what he described as a vital service.

“This is an issue I’ve dealt with for many, many years and now we have a new vessel, a long-term commitment, and a way to move forward with long-term contracts which is so important for the economy of P.E.I.,” said MacAulay. “Now of course, the (MV) Confederation will be there for a long time and this will be a brand-new boat. Without a doubt this is a great day.”

There was no dollar figure or timeline attached to the commitment of building a new ship, which will still require requests for proposals to be issued.

“Now we have to enter negotiations with boat builders,” said MacAulay. “It’s a major commitment.”

Premier Wade MacLauchlan praised the announcement as well as MacAulay’s advocacy throughout the years.

“He deserves a lot of credit for this,” said MacLauchlan. “It’s really important to see this commitment and the benefits and results that it will bring for all of Prince Edward Island and, in particular, eastern P.E.I.”

The ferry commitment also included an announcement to replace the MV Madeleine, which operates between P.E.I. and the Magdalen Islands.

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