POLITICS

A brief look at the history of the ferry service between Nova Scotia and Maine

02/02/2015 04:34 EST | Updated 04/04/2015 05:59 EDT
HALIFAX - Nova Scotia has spent millions of dollars to keep the ferry service to the U.S. afloat in recent years. Here is a brief look at the history of the seasonal passenger service between Yarmouth, N.S., and Portland, Maine:

July 3, 2008: The Progressive Conservative government announces $4.4 million to keep the service running.

Dec. 18, 2009: Bay Ferries ends the service after the NDP government eliminates an annual subsidy that totalled $15.7 million over the last four years.

April 23, 2012: A panel will determine what's needed for the service to be economically viable.

Sept. 7, 2012: The government's willing to commit up to $21 million over seven years to relaunch the service if a private operator can be found as a panel says $35 million and a significant boost in passenger traffic is needed to make the service feasible.

Sept. 5, 2013: A deal with STM Quest to resume the service is announced.

April 15, 2014: The Nova Star ferry arrives in Yarmouth.

July 24, 2014: The $21 million that was supposed to last seven years is spent.

Oct. 14, 2014: Nova Scotia's Liberal government gives another $5 million to the service, bringing the total amount to $26 million.

Jan. 15, 2015: The government releases an external audit that supports operating costs but details on how money was spent are blacked out.

Jan. 18, 2015: A breakdown of costs is released by the province after a newspaper in Maine obtains the information from electronic versions of the audit. The government also reveals it gave another $2.5 million for the service. Public funds now total $28.5 million.

Feb. 4, 2015: Up to $13 million more is committed for this year. The government also plans to open bidding to determine who will operate the service in 2016.