Today we learned that the Yarmouth Ferry’s 2021 season has officially been cancelled.
COVID-19 or no COVID-19, this will be the third year in a row that the Liberals will pay the ferry operator not to bring passengers to Nova Scotia and most of it was due to missed deadlines on terminal construction.
And then, there are the costs. It appears that regardless of whether or not the ferry sails, tax dollars continue to go towards the secret management fee. Almost two years after we took the government to court to get answers, the Liberals continue to hide how much the operator is being paid to keep the ferry idle.
What we do know is that the Minister responsible for the ferry confirmed that there were no refunds, and that more than $16 million of taxpayer funds would be paid for last year’s lack of service.
Meanwhile, COVID-19 has caused the closure of many small and medium-sized businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector who were actually operating for the past three years. Instead of paying millions of dollars for a ferry that will spend its season anchored in the United States, they should be using that money to support the local businesses who will struggle for a second tourism season.
There have been no voices within this Liberal government with the courage to stand up and say this deal isn’t right; including any of the three men running to be the next Premier.