Bring back Cat ferry campaign gathers strength with residents of Yarmouth, N.S.

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YARMOUTH, N.S. - Signs demanding the return of the Cat ferry are popping up on fronts lawns and at businesses around town as people continue pressuring the Nova Scotia government to save the service.
Doreen Saulnier has worked on the high-speed ferry for five years as a gift-shop clerk.
She put the first sign up and has convinced others in town to do the same.
"It's starting to really take off," Saulnier said Wednesday.
The sign in front of her Short Beach property reads: This house is affected by the loss of the ferry service.
She and her husband Richard have a daughter in college and a son in junior high school and the loss of the ferry service is a serious blow to their household.
"It's possible that we're going to have to sell the house and move," Saulnier said. "I don't want to. I enjoy Yarmouth."
Bay Ferries Ltd. said in December that it would not run its ferry between Yarmouth and Maine this year because it could not make a go of it without government subsidization.
The Dexter government said it would no longer provide aid for the seasonal service.
The Cat has been responsible for bringing tens of thousands of visitors to Nova Scotia each year, with an infusion of millions of dollars into the provincial economy, say proponents.
A campaign is in the works to have people call area New Democrats in the Nova Scotia legislature and urge them to help save the ferry.
"We need to give it everything we have," said Julie Walters of the South West Shore Development Authority.
Mayor Phil Mooney said this week in a news release that the ferry is something the province can't afford to be without, even for one year.
He said he was disappointed with Percy Paris, the provincial economic and rural development minister, who has said he will not reconsider the province's decision to no longer fund the ferry.
"This government's response is simply unacceptable," said Mooney.
He said government is ignoring data that suggest that more than 45 local businesses will lay off more than 500 people if the ferry does not operate in 2010.
(Halifax Chronicle Herald)
, put their people Yarmouth Bureau
The fight to bring the Cat back into service this summer has not abated since more than 200 people went to the legislature in Halifax last week to take part in a noisy demonstration.
There's still time to save the ferry service, said Julie Walters of the South West Shore Development Authority.
This week, some signs have appeared on front lawns and at businesses, proclaiming that the loss of the ferry is affecting many people.
Bay Ferries Ltd. said in December that it would not run its high-speed ferry, the Cat, between Yarmouth and Maine in 2010 because it could not make a go of it without government subsidization.
The Dexter government said it would no longer provide aid for the seasonal service.
The Cat has been responsible for bringing tens of thousands of visitors to Nova Scotia each year, with an infusion of millions of dollars into the provincial economy, say ferry proponents.
"We've noticed . . . signs are starting to go up all around" Yarmouth County, Walters said Wednesday. "I'm really pleased with it."
"I think we'll see quite a few more go up over the next day or so," she said.

Organizations: Bay Ferries Ltd., South West Shore Development Authority, Yarmouth Bureau

Geographic location: Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia, Maine Dexter Short Beach Halifax

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  • Don Cull
    August 03, 2011 - 18:45

    It seems to me that the N.S. government has plenty of surplus money (569million?)to put back into their province. I would think that every business in every part of Nova Scotia would benefit from the Cat ferry. At least everywhere north of Yarmouth. Oh yeah, that IS the whole province. New England and Nova Scotia only differ by country. Why would a government want to stop American tourists, who spend millions of dollars each year to travel to New England, looking to witness the "maritime" way of life, from visiting a province as beautiful as Nova Scotia. Every business owner in Nova Scotia with an email address or fax machine should be sending their government officials daily reminders that there is an election coming in 2013. If I were a business owner in Halifax, I would think of the American shopper who WAS thinking of taking the Cat over to N.S for a weekend shopping trip and now doesn't even consider it because nobody wants to spend 22 hours in there car for a few hours of pleasure. $569 million sounds like good business. $564 million and keeping an entire region working and in their homes and having their business thriving, sounds way better.