Residents who live near the Village of Gagetown are hopeful the Higgs government will reinstate its cable ferry, after the province announced a plan to develop a strategy that would conserve covered bridges and river ferries.
The 12-car cable ferry was taken out of service in February 2016 as a cost-saving measure by the previous Liberal government.
“There’s been no pluses. The government hasn’t saved one penny, they’ve lost money because the economy is not there,” said Wilf Hiscock, a member of the Save Gagetown-Jemseg committee, which has been lobbying the government to walk back those changes.
The province’s transportation minister says government is looking at reviewing the transportation corridor.
“Many of them are important transportation links, while serving as a reminder of New Brunswick’s rich cultural history. It’s important to take a practical and responsible approach to maintenance and preservation,” said Bill Oliver.
WATCH: Calls to get Gagetown ferry back
It’s hoped if the Gagetown ferry is reinstated, the funding for it will be announced in the 2020-2021 provincial budget.
“It’s refreshing believe me to talk to someone who actually is listening to you and is out there to help rural New Brunswick,” said Hiscock.
Those words are echoed by Hugh Harmond, a Queenstown farmer who raises chickens and cattle, as well as maintains a woodlot on both sides of the Saint John River.
“We’ve been hopeful and confident all the way along that if we stuck to our guns here that eventually we’d see ferry service return,” said Harmond.
There are six ferries operating on the Saint John River and the Kennebecasis River with about 3.5 million riders each year
The province isn’t just looking at ferry services, but covered bridges as well, in an effort to promote tourism in small communities.