Government of Canada Invests Over Half Billion Dollars in Revitalization of Marine Atlantic Inc.

The Honourable Rob Merrifield, Minister of State (Transport), and the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister responsible for Nova Scotia, along with Rob Crosbie, chair of MAI’s board of directors, and Wayne Follett, MAI’s president and chief executive officer, announced today that the Government of Canada is making significant investments to revitalize MAI and renew its fleet and shore facilities.

“Our government is supporting Canada’s economy by investing in Marine Atlantic Inc., which provides a vital transportation link between Newfoundland and Labrador, and Nova Scotia,” said Minister Merrifield. “Today’s investment will help Marine Atlantic Inc. renew its fleet and shore facilities, and improve the quality and reliability of its services.”

The $521 million investment allows MAI to invest nearly $84 million over five years to complete upgrades to terminal and port infrastructure at all three ports, including the construction of a new terminal building in North Sydney and upgrades at both the Port aux Basques and Argentia terminal buildings. These improvements are expected to better accommodate customers and enhance safety and security.

“The Government of Canada’s significant investment in Marine Atlantic Inc. will enable the corporation to move forward with its plans to renew the ferry service,” said Mr. Crosbie. “This is the first time in many years that the organization has received a commitment of five-year funding. It provides the corporation with the ability to plan a multi-year investment strategy that will result in the renewal of its fleet, terminal and other shore facilities, thereby improving the quality and reliability of its services. This investment will provide the necessary assets to meet the corporation’s mandate for this vital ferry service.”

“Marine Atlantic Inc. is an important service for the people of Cape Breton and I’m happy this investment will better accommodate its users,” said Minister MacKay. “These improvements will also help ensure the continued safe operation of shore facility structures.”

“This investment and five-year plan provides the necessary foundation to move the organization forward to the benefit of the people who use and depend on the ferry service,” said Mr. Follett. “There is much work to be done and the necessary changes will not occur overnight. In addition to the investment in physical assets, we will be making changes to our business processes to ensure we provide a safe, reliable and efficient ferry service for the long term.”

When added to Government of Canada funds announced since 2007, this $521 million additional funding will bring the total incremental government funding to MAI to almost a billion dollars. As part of this incremental funding, the Government of Canada dedicated $12.5 million in funding for shore-based priority projects under the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund in 2009.

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Source: tc.gc, July 6, 2010

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