June 20, 2019 1:28 pm
Updated: June 21, 2019 12:00 pm

Delay means ferry season between Nova Scotia and Maine now in question: minister

WATCH: There is still no definitive startup date from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which requires specific renovations to the Maine terminal building. Jeremy Keefe reports.

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Nova Scotia’s business minister admits it’s now an open question whether the provincially subsidized ferry will run this summer between Yarmouth, N.S., and Bar Harbor, Maine.

Geoff MacLellan says there is still no definitive startup date from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which requires specific renovations to the Maine terminal building before putting its agents in place.

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READ MORE: N.S. blasted for paying $8.5 million for U.S. ferry terminal renovations

MacLellan says U.S. officials have only told the province they will complete their requirement process as soon as they can.

Two weeks ago, the ferry’s private operator, Bay Ferries, had said a season that was scheduled to begin at the end of June would commence “in the mid-summer.”

READ MORE: Bay Ferries is not Nova Scotia’s agent, despite what the minister has said

The province recently hired the former U.S. ambassador to Canada, David Wilkins, to lobby on behalf of the ferry in an attempt to expedite the U.S. security process.

The province has committed an estimated $8.5-million to help with the renovation work and the ferry’s operating subsidy for this year is $13.8-million.

© 2019 The Canadian Press

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