Wolfe Islander IV ferry expected to be in service this spring

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Wolfe Islander IV expected to be in service this spring
WATCH: Marysville ferry terminal is expected to be complete by fall 2023. Kingston ferry terminal completion is delayed until 2025 – Jan 31, 2023

It’s about a year overdue, but it appears the new Wolfe Islander IV electric ferry will finally be in service this spring.

The Ministry of Transportation says the ferry will appear in Kingston, Ont., waters this week as crew training ramps up.

Read more: Wolfe Island residents hit with ferry cancellations, power outages during winter storm

“If we could have it by May that would be wonderful,” says Judy Greenwood-Speers, mayor of Frontenac Islands.

“In time for May 2-4, that would be really great.”

Greenwood-Speers says people can probably expect to see the Wolfe Islander IV soon, with crews training on the new craft in the coming week.

“They are going to be having it in the harbour, probably in the next week or so, doing some practice runs,” she adds.

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The Marysville ferry terminal is expected to be complete this fall, but the Kingston terminal isn’t expected to be complete until the spring of 2025.

Kingston and the Islands MPP Ted Hsu says he wants to know what has led to the delays.

“That’s five years,” says Hsu.

“I know there’s been a pandemic, but we just built a $180 million bridge on time and on budget, and I think that it’s worth looking into to see what happened. ”

One of the complaints from the public and politicians during the large construction project has been a lack of communication.

Hsu says that created uncertainty for residents and businesses.

“It directly affects the bottom line when you can’t plan, for example, a tourist season,” says Hsu.

“So I’m welcoming these communications, I hope they’re very forthcoming from now on.”

Read more: New Wolfe Island, Amherst Island ferries remain docked for over a year

Greenwood-Speers says one of her first tasks when she was elected was to reach out to the MTO to highlight the need for better public communication about the project.

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“I stressed to them if you don’t fill the void, then the rumour mill has it, and there’s usually a grain of truth and a grain of paranoia and everything else around it,” she says.

“So you need to fill the void with truth, even if you think we don’t want to hear it.”

Greenwood-Speers says they’ve begun gathering questions from residents so MTO officials can answer them at an upcoming council meeting.

“They’d like to either Zoom into one of our council meetings if they can’t make it down, which is understandable during the winter,” she says.

A time for that meeting hasn’t been set, but the Frontenac Islands mayor says the earliest would be March.

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