Ferry task force seeks public input
The new Prince Edward Island Ferry Task Force wants feedback from Islanders on the importance of the Wood Islands-Caribou ferry service to the province.
After Northumberland Ferries Ltd. (NFL) announced that the Island would not have full two-ferry service during summer 2016, the provincial government immediately attempted to secure a second ferry – while stressing to NFL and the federal government the importance of full ferry service. Islanders can submit written comments to the ferry task force at www.princeedwardisland.ca/ferryinput through April 30.
“The Wood Islands ferry is a vital transportation link for trade and tourism in eastern Prince Edward Island, with economic spinoffs for communities right across our province,” Rural and Regional Development Minister Pat Murphy said. “It is critical that stable, two-vessel ferry service continues, and as a province we will work together to ensure our voices are heard by the federal government.”
The Prince Edward Island Ferry Task Force was created in February. Members include Ray Keenan, Audrey Shillabeer, and Scott Annear.
The goals of the task force include:
- highlighting any policy objectives that should be addressed by both the provincial and federal governments;
- providing information on revenue, operational costs, long-term infrastructure and capital requirements; and
- identifying the potential traffic for ferry service for the next five to 10 years.
Recommendations from the task force will be presented to cabinet by June 1. After that, cabinet will share the task force’s recommendations with the federal government – as ferries are a federal responsibility – while it continues to reiterate the importance of the ferry service.
The Wood Islands-Caribou ferry contributes an estimated $27 million to the Prince Edward Island economy each year, carrying approximately 475,000 passengers, 160,000 passenger vehicles, and 18,000 commercial trucks. The service also provides stable, seasonal employment for more than 200 employees.
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Department of Regional and Rural Development