Atlantic Ferry Investment Secures Future Service and Jobs

June 26, 2013, 11:50 AM EST

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A new federal investment of nearly $13 million in the Woods Islands, P.E.I. - Caribou, Nova Scotia ferry service not only secures the future for the passenger transit route, it secures jobs for about 150 workers as well, said CAW Local 4508 President Bob Langille.

"This public investment helps ease the fears of both passengers and workers who have been worried that years of underfunding would result in a reduction in service levels," Langille said. "In light of those fears, this is certainly welcome news."

The announcement was made on June 21 at the ferry dock in Caribou, with the M.V. Holiday Island ferry as the backdrop. The new investment includes an engine replacement for the M.V. Holiday Island that extends the life of the 41-year old vessel, as well as the refurbishment of the P.E.I.-side breakwater and extensive dock repairs to both Woods Islands and Caribou terminals.

The Woods Islands-Caribou service is one of three service routes supported by the federal government in Eastern Canada (the others are Iles de la Madeleine, Quebec-Souris, P.E.I. and Saint John, New Brunswick-Digby, Nova Scotia).

Langille said he expects further announcements to be made by the end of summer, including an extension of the service agreement between Transport Canada and Northumberland Ferries.

"There is a huge economic upside to a well-funded and properly serviced ferry system in Atlantic Canada, and it's important we continue to protect and preserve this federal funding support," said Langille.

Peter MacKay, Member of Parliament for Central Nova and Gail Shea, Member of Parliament for Egmont, made the announcement on behalf of the federal government.

The CAW represents 150 members working on the Woods Islands-Caribou route. CAW Local 4508 represents terminal attendants as well as on-board ferry staff. CAW Local 4508-A represents skilled trades workers, including electricians and engineers.

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