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Disappointing news after protest

By Carla Allen THE VANGUARD The mood aboard the buses was merry on the way up. Hopeful. However dejection was a palpable emotion on the way back amongst those who made the long trek to Halifax Thursday morning. It was a last ditch attempt to have the provincial government reverse its decision to subsidize ferry service between Yarmouth and Maine.

At least 100 passengers from Yarmouth, Digby and Shelburne counties joined Bay Ferries employees, CAW members, business operators, ferry supporters and municipal politicians from other parts of the Maritimes in front of the legislature, to form a crowd of close to 250.

Ian Hurst, president and CEO of Rodd Hotels and Resorts was emcee for a line up of a dozen speakers. Organizers for the event had requested Economic Development Minister Percy Paris to address the crowd, which at one point surged inside One Government Place chanting “Darrell, Darrell, Darrell.”

Minister Paris refused to address the protesters but agreed to meet privately with a smaller delegation that included Yarmouth Mayor Phil Mooney. “He said he’s not going to reverse his decision,” said Mooney following that meeting. “There were some very sad people that left that office,” he said.

During the discussion Minister Paris suggested his department could help alleviate the lack of tourists in Yarmouth by putting up a sign in Digby so “maybe you can tap into the 100,000 people that go to the Wharf Rat Rally.” “That was a disgraceful statement. I couldn’t believe it,” said Mooney. “They’ve cut the life right out of us,” he said.

Organizations: Bay Ferries, Rodd Hotels

Geographic location: Yarmouth, Shelburne

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