The Progressive Conservative Party of Nova Scotia says it wants more information, particularly details on future subsidy payments, from the provincial government on its new Yarmouth ferry contract.
“It’s just really hard for me to get my head around anyone sitting down and signing that type of a contract with all that information unknown. And the only reason that that would be done is for political purposes, to put a tick a box ‘we have a ferry service’,” said Tim Houston, PC Party MLA for Pictou East.
The ferry was the topic of a meeting of the standing committee on public accounts meeting at Province House Wednesday morning.
“All transportation ferries in Canada require a subsidy,” said Paul LaFleche, deputy minister of Transportation & Infrastructure Renewal, during the meeting.
“I’ve got a little calculator here. You know, you can figure out what it is,” he told Houston when asked about the 10-year numbers.
“We didn’t feel it was realistic to come up with numbers,” said Bruce Fitzner, chief engineer of the Department of Transportation & Infrastructure Renewal.
“The further you go out the more volatility there will be in the numbers.”
He also confirmed Bay Ferries will get management fees, though he wouldn’t reveal specific numbers.
Diane Surette, executive director of finance and strategic capital planning for the department said the government is giving Bay Ferries a one-time $5 million line of credit as a form of security.
“The possibility of them going out of business or defaulting would be extremely, highly unlikely,” she added.
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