CAT ferry protest fails to sway gov­ern­ment as prov­ince says no to more fund­ing

Cape Breton Post - - news - BY ALI­SON AULD

vide an on­go­ing sub­sidy.

Busi­nesses and labour groups say the loss of the ferry will elim­i­nate about 600 jobs and cost mil­lions of dol­lars an­nu­ally in lost rev­enues.

Yar­mouth Mayor Phil Mooney said 76,000 peo­ple used the ser­vice last year, bring­ing in roughly $33 mil­lion to the prov­ince.

“ We want him to re-look at his de­ci­sion,” he said at the demon­stra­tion.

“ We’re at the sec­ond high­est un­em­ploy­ment rate in Nova Sco­tia and you put an­other 600 jobs on that ... it’s go­ing to be dev­as­tat­ing to us.”

Wav­ing plac­ards and call­ing for Dex­ter by his first name, work­ers in hard hats along with union of­fi­cials and restau­rant em­ploy­ees crammed into two floors of the build­ing.

It houses Dex­ter’s of­fice and the cab­i­net meet­ing rooms, but no one from gov­ern­ment came out dur­ing the 20 min­utes they were in­side.

The group wanted a com­mit­ment from the NDP gov­ern­ment that ef­forts will be made to se­cure a ferry link with New Eng­land in 2011 and be­yond.

The premier, who is out of the coun­try, has said he’s open to pro­vid­ing short-term cash to sal­vage the ferry ser­vice, but he wants to see a study on trans­port needs be­fore com­mit­ting to any­thing.

He’s await­ing the At­lantic Canada Op­por­tu­ni­ties Agency study on trans­port needs and will con­sider tem­po­rary as­sis­tance if it rec­om­mends that.

Can­celling the ser­vice could cost pro­vin­cial tax­pay­ers mil­lions of dol­lars if the ves­sel is not sold be­fore Septem­ber.

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