Neither ferry proposals under consideration for a Yarmouth to Maine service has met the minimum qualifications needed to secure the province’s approval.
Quest Navigation's president and CEO, Mark Amundsen, said in a statement released after the announcement, "Quest Navigation remains confident that our business plan ... is the best option."
Amundsen said the company will meet with officials from the province to find out where their bid was seen to be lacking and await a review of the province's modified RFP before determining the next steps.
"We remain confident that Quest Navigation has a strong and sustainable solution to provide year-round ferry service between Yarmouth, NS and Portland, Maine -- one that will provide jobs on both sides of the border, reinvigorate tourism and commercial trade between New England and Atlantic Canada, and contribute to the economy of both regions."
The province's minister of economic and rural development and tourism would not comment on how the companies' bids failed, but among the criteria considered by the committee were: financial capacity and stability; proposed management structure; operational history and relevant experience; safety management; experience in the tourism industry; marketing and sales experience; the bidder’s analysis of the situation; revenue projections; and detailed start-up plans.
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Percy Paris says he knows this is disappointing news and he shares the disappointment. The province will continue the search for a qualified company to run a new ferry service in Yarmouth, and appoint a team of tourism, community and business leaders to help make southwestern Nova Scotia even more attractive to tourists.
This spring, the province will launch a modified procurement process to find a ferry operator, which will focus on a 2014 start date. He says the province is not giving up on a new ferry in Yarmouth, and Nova Scotians in this region deserve the right service, one they can count on for the long term.
The province will also appoint a team to implement the expert panel's tourism recommendation.
The other ferry proposal was submitted by Maritime Applied Physics Corporation (MAPC) of Baltimore.