YARMOUTH - The three levels of government are contributing more than $9 million in joint funding towards the phase-one redevelopment of the Yarmouth International Ferry Terminal.
Work includes upgrading and relocating passenger inspection line booths, replacing the pontoon and transfer bridge and improving overall terminal facilities such as external lighting and passenger waiting areas.
The federal and Nova Scotia governments are both contributing up to $3 million through the Small Communities Fund.
The town and municipality of Yarmouth are each contributing $1.2 million to the project. The Municipality of Argyle is contributing $300,000. The ferry terminal is a municipal-owned asset – having been transferred to the community by the federal government prior to the resumption of ferry service in 2014 – but Argyle declined the option of becoming one of the municipal owners and so it is committing to the terminal’s upgrades on a lower scale than the other two units.
The official announcement was made Tuesday morning, Sept. 4, at the ferry terminal.
(NOTE TO READERS: The media release issued by the federal and provincial levels of government about the announcement referred to the funding as being $9.7 million in total, but the figure is actually $9 million.)
“The government of Canada understands that strategic investments in infrastructure are crucial to increasing tourism and driving economic growth,” said West Nova MP Colin Fraser. “These essential upgrades to the Yarmouth International Ferry Terminal will position Nova Scotia as a more welcoming and accessible destination for tourists, while helping local businesses to create jobs, grow and prosper.”
Fraser announced the federal portion of the funding on behalf of François-Philippe Champagne, minister of infrastructure and communities.
Yarmouth MLA and Nova Scotia Education Minister Zach Churchill also was at the ferry terminal for Tuesday’s announcement.
“I’m pleased to see co-operation between the federal and provincial governments for the benefit of Nova Scotians,” he said. “Supporting regions with funding for critical items like the Yarmouth ferry has had a very positive impact on our region’s local tourism operators, small businesses and the economy of Nova Scotia as a whole. This investment will assist our efforts to attract tourists from the eastern seaboard and strengthen our economy.”
Said Yarmouth Mayor Pam Mood, “We are excited to partner with the province and federal government on this tremendously vital piece of infrastructure. The return of the ferry continues to be the catalyst for much economic growth in our region and the town knows the importance of providing a proper space going forward. Thank you to all who have made this project possible."
Yarmouth Warden Leland Athony and Argyle Warden Richard Donaldson also were on hand for the announcement.
“The Municipality of Yarmouth’s investment in the Nova Scotia-Maine ferry service through upgrades to the Yarmouth terminal signifies a continued partnership with regional, provincial and federal partners as well as the private sector,” Anthony said. “Phase 1 of the Yarmouth terminal redevelopment demonstrates a commitment to Canada Border Services and Bay Ferries that local government is investment ready.”
Said Donaldson, “The ferry terminal is an important regional investment for our county and we are pleased to be a funding partner in securing important transportation infrastructure for the region and the province.”
A media release about the funding said the federal and Nova Scotia governments “recognize that strategic investments in public infrastructure—including funding for culture and tourism projects—play a key role in supporting dynamic communities while creating good jobs that help grow the middle class and Canadian businesses.”
Once complete, the release said, “the redeveloped ferry terminal will establish the port of Yarmouth as an international tourist destination, improve visitor experience and provide new economic opportunities for businesses in the area and across southern Nova Scotia.”