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Nova Scotia judge reserves decision on Tory lawsuit seeking disclosure of ferry fee

The CAT, a high-speed passenger ferry, prepares to depart Yarmouth, N.S. heading to Portland, Maine on its first scheduled trip on Wednesday, June 15, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan.
The CAT, a high-speed passenger ferry, prepares to depart Yarmouth, N.S. heading to Portland, Maine on its first scheduled trip on Wednesday, June 15, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan.

Nova Scotia’s Progressive Conservatives argued in court today for a judge to force the government to disclose the annual fee paid to a company operating the ferry from Yarmouth, N.S., to Maine.

Tory Leader Tim Houston launched the lawsuit in February 2019 in an attempt to enforce a recommendation by the former information commissioner, who called for full disclosure of the funding agreement.

Click to play video 'Tories sue Nova Scotia government over details of Yarmouth-Maine ferry fees' Tories sue Nova Scotia government over details of Yarmouth-Maine ferry fees
Tories sue Nova Scotia government over details of Yarmouth-Maine ferry fees – Feb 11, 2019

The Liberal government and Bay Ferries CEO Mark MacDonald maintain the management fee is confidential commercial information and should remain so.

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But Tory lawyer and caucus chief of staff Nicole Lafosse Parker told the court there is nothing in Nova Scotia’s privacy law that would make any part of the province’s contract with Bay Ferries confidential.

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She says there is no evidence proving that disclosing the fee would harm the ferry company.

Justice Richard Coughlan reserved his decision.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov, 19, 2020.