NORTH BAY, ON, Aug. 18 /CNW/ - Ontario Northland is very excited to
announce that a new passenger-vehicle and freight ferry that will
service the communities of Moosonee and Moose Factory has arrived in
Moosonee. The new ferry will be known as the Niska I and
will enter into official service next spring.
"We are extremely excited to introduce the Niska I and look forward to
providing enhanced services to the residents and businesses of Moosonee
and Moose Factory," said Paul Goulet, President and CEO of Ontario
Northland. "We are anxious to host an official celebration with our
community partners in the spring that will recognize the importance and
value of this ferry to the region."
"The Niska I will provide our communities with a superior ferry service
and will meet our needs for both passenger and cargo transportation,"
commented Grand Chief Stan Louttit of the Mushkegowuk Council. "I look
forward to continuing to work with Ontario Northland for the benefit of
The new vessel is 28 meters long and 10.5 meters wide, capable of
carrying two full length tractor-trailers or eight passenger vehicles,
and up to 50 people. The Niska I will replace the Manitou Island II,
which was built in 1956 and currently provides cargo only ferry services
to both communities. The total project cost of up to $4.5 million is
being funded by the Province of Ontario.
"This significant upgrade to Ontario Northland equipment reaffirms this
government's commitment to ensuring efficient and quality transportation
services to residents of the James Bay Frontier," said Northern
Development, Mines and Forestry Minister Michael Gravelle. "This
acquisition is truly worthy of the community celebration that is being
planned for the spring."
While the ferry structure itself has arrived in Moosonee, the vessel had
been sealed for safe delivery. It will require significant work prior
to being launched into official service, including: unsealing the actual
structure; setting up machinery; completing safety planning; undergoing
a Transport Canada ship safety inspection; crew training and trial
runs. This work along with safety inspections are expected to take
place throughout the fall.
Name the Ferry Contest
Earlier this year, Ontario Northland
held a Name the Ferry contest and Niska I emerged as the winning name.
Niska is the Cree word for goose. The arrival of the spring season each
year results in the melting of the snow and ice and the eventual arrival
of open water. The geese arrive as the waterways emerge. The traditional
spring goose hunt symbolizes the changing season and the return of open
water. The Niska name was chosen to reflect the fact that the open water
and the presence of the geese signify that water travel has returned.
Ontario Northland thanks all Name the Ferry contest entrants and
congratulates our contest winners: Diane Charland of Moosonee and Bev
Cheechoo of Cochrane. Both winners will participate in the official
ceremony to launch the Niska I and will receive four return tickets for
travel aboard the Polar Bear Express train.
SOURCE Ontario Northland Transportation Commission
For further information: For further information:
Beverly Martin, Chief Communications Officer, Ontario Northland, 705.472.4500 ext. 265 or cell: