12/07/2012 03:42 EST | Updated 02/06/2013 05:12 EST

Nova Scotia government issues request for proposals for Yarmouth-Maine ferry

YARMOUTH, N.S. - The Nova Scotia government has issued a request for proposals for an operator of a ferry service between Yarmouth and Maine.

The province's Economic Development Department used a draft proposal released in October to consult with potential ferry operators about the proposed service.

Economic Development Minister Percy Paris says the consultations allowed the province to fine-tune the proposal so that a prospective operator is able to run a commercially viable business.

The deadline for proposals is Jan. 24.

In September, Premier Darrell Dexter said his government is willing to commit up to $21 million over seven years to relaunch the service.

The government has been under fire since it decided in 2009 to nix a $6-million annual subsidy for Bay Ferries Ltd., which ran a high-speed ferry service between Yarmouth and Maine.