Governments of Canada, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia come through with support to ensure the Digby-Saint John ferry service continues



    DIGBY, NS, Aug. 1 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of
National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
(ACOA), on behalf of the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport,
Infrastructure and Communities, today announced significant investments to
ensure the Digby-Saint John ferry service will continue to run, and also
investments to repair the Digby Fishermen's Wharf.
    "We recognize the importance of the ferry to the economy. We have
listened to community and business leaders who rely on these important assets
and delivered results for them and the people of Nova Scotia and New
Brunswick," said Minister MacKay, who was joined by Rob Moore, MP for Fundy
Royal, the Honourable Mark Parent, Nova Scotia Minister of Environment and
Minister of Labour and Workforce Development, and the Honourable Jack Keir,
New Brunswick Minister of Energy, of Supply and Services and Minister
responsible for N.B. Energy Efficiency and Conservation Agency, for the
announcement of this $19.1 million package.
    The Government of Canada will invest $11.1 million to ensure the
Digby-Saint John ferry service will continue to run until January 31, 2011.
The Provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick are investing an additional
$2 million each, over two years, to extend the service. Minister MacKay said
the two-year extension to the ferry service will be used to assess commercial
and transportation alternatives and economic strategies. ACOA, working with
its provincial government partners, will invest up to $1 million for this
assessment.
    The Government of Canada will also invest $3 million for the Digby
Harbour Port Association (DHPA) to fund operationally necessary repairs to the
wharf and the port.
    "By providing financial assistance to extend the ferry service, we are
promoting a more productive economy, encouraging long-term competitiveness and
sustainability, and improving the quality of life for our communities," said
Minister Cannon. "Our government is also committed to ensuring the safe and
effective operation of our ports. Repairs to the Digby Fishermen's Wharf will
help the local economy and ensure safety is maintained at the port."
    "This link is vitally important to the economies of both Southwestern
Nova Scotia and Southern New Brunswick," said the Honourable Greg Thompson,
Minister of Veterans Affairs and MP for New Brunswick Southwest. "The
government recognizes how this service increases access to domestic and U.S.
markets, and is proud to partner with the provinces."
    "We are pleased to be collaborating with our federal and provincial
partners to continue the Digby-Saint John ferry service," said Minister Keir.
"The ferry is an important part of the region's infrastructure and supply
chain to U.S. markets. Keeping it running until January 31, 2011 will greatly
benefit the economy and tourism in Atlantic Canada."
    "Our governments want to sustain the economic ties that we have built
over the years through the ferry service," said Minister Parent. "With this
funding we are continuing to provide a safe and reliable service, while
maintaining important economic links within our region and within the
country."
    "Today's announcement is good news not only for Digby but for the entire
regional economy," said Jim Thurber, Warden, Municipality of Digby. "I am
pleased with the investment being made to help repair Digby Wharf, which is
critical for our local fishing industry. The investment to continue the ferry
service is a positive step forward. The Bay of Fundy Transportation Coalition
remains committed to working with our government partners to find a long-term
solution which will secure a service which we believe is absolutely essential
to the growth of our region."




For further information:

For further information: Catherine Loubier, Director of Communications,
Office of the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Ottawa,
(613) 991-0700; Amanda Dean, Special Assistant to the Minister, Office of the
Minister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities
Agency, (902) 426-4414; Tom Peck, Director of Communications, Nova Scotia
Economic Development, (902) 424-4998, peckto@gov.ns.ca; Media Relations,
Transport Canada, Ottawa, (613) 993-0055; David Harrigan, Media Relations
Officer, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, (902) 426-4238; Transport
Canada is online at www.tc.gc.ca. Subscribe to news releases and speeches at
www.tc.gc.ca/e-news and keep up to date on the latest from Transport Canada.
This news release may be made available in alternative formats for persons
with visual disabilities.


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