POLITICS

Details on 2015 season for Nova Scotia to Maine ferry coming next week:minister

01/29/2015 04:11 EST | Updated 03/31/2015 05:59 EDT
HALIFAX - The Nova Scotia government is poised to announce an agreement next week for the 2015 sailing season for the ferry between Yarmouth and Maine.

But neither Premier Stephen McNeil or Economic Development Minister Michel Samson would confirm a new contract has been finalized with current operators Nova Star Cruises after Thursday's cabinet meeting.

McNeil said the directive out of cabinet was to continue with negotiations, while Samson would only say he would provide details for the upcoming sailing season at a news conference scheduled for Tuesday in Yarmouth.

To date, the provincial government has provided Nova Star with $28.5 million in funding, including a $21 million seven-year loan that was spent in the first two months of last year's inaugural season.

Meanwhile, Samson said he would meet with the province's conflict of interest commissioner on Friday.

The Opposition Progressive Conservatives have asked the commissioner to investigate comments made by Samson over the amount of money given to the ferry operators.

The Tories argue Samson was not "truthful or forthright" when he said two weeks ago that the government hadn't given them more than the $26 million in public funds disclosed to that point. Samson later confirmed that he had known about $2.5 million in additional spending since Dec. 23.