Reaction to the news of STM/Quest being in the homestretch in the competition to provide ferry service between Yarmouth and Portland was positive after the announcement at Rodd Grand Hotel on Tuesday.
The Nova Star.
Yarmouth mall manager Linda Deveau says she’s thrilled.
“It’s been a long time coming, but really in the sphere of this kind of economic investment, to put it together within four years, we really can’t complain. It’s just fabulous.
“The boat looks amazing. I’m sure they’re going to tweak it a little bit. I love their comments about working with the community and interacting with the artisans and establishing a call centre.
“It really is a harking to the days of when we had what we had – the marine transportation that we all know and love.”
Yarmouth Warden Murray Goodwin also expressed excitement.
“We’re on third base. We should have a steal home now,” he said.
“It’s good news. So much work goes into this; that the ferry partnership has done. People don’t see it, but behind the scenes there’s been momentum. I know people get discouraged, but hang in there people, it’s coming.”
Yarmouth’s deputy mayor, Jim MacLeod, said he is more than elated.
“We’ve been hoping for this for two or three years, as you know. I look forward to the next step when they have a signed agreement. Everything else will fall in place. It’s a wonderful moment here right now.”
Mayor Pam Mood was also happy.
“It’s absolutely great news and the next step for Yarmouth. I don’t think it gets better than this. We go from here. Basically we just need to get ready. It’s exciting.”
Yarmouth MLA Zach Churchill said it was nice to see the issue come full circle.
“The first six months of the NDP’s mandate, they got rid of the ferry and the last six months they’re trying to bring it back. This is a win for the community. This would not have happened if we had given up. The tourism industry fought steadily across the province to bring this ferry back and I think today we have a government that buckled under that pressure and is trying to rectify the wrong that they did to this area. This is a good news story. I think it’s one that we should all take heart in because it shows what we can accomplish together when we don’t give up.”
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Argyle MLA Chris d’Entremont said the announcement showed positive steps towards finding an operator.
“I think everyone is sort of relieved today. The operators sound like they have the wherewithal to get the job done. It would be good to see what happens in the next few weeks as that contract gets signed up and to see exactly when it gets started. I think people all across Nova Scotia are just waiting to get those extra tourists out to see our province. It’s a good day.”
Larry Peach, manager for Rendez-vous de la Baie and tourism director for the Municipalité de Clare, was pleased with the big crowd that turned out for the announcement.
“We’re one step closer to a ship coming up the harbour,” he said.
Michael Tavares, who co-owns the MacKinnon Cann Inn with Neil Hisgen, also expressed optimism.
“I’m thrilled. We found not only a ferry service that is going to serve the Portland market but one that is in partnership with Maine. I think that’s brilliant. The two markets need each other.“
Julie Walters, general manager for Yarmouth and Acadian Shores Tourism Association, is also encouraged by the "great" news for the tourism industry throughout Nova Scotia and Atlantic Canada.
"The resumption of ferry service is an economic development opportunity for our community, and we need to make sure that we are all working together to give the visitors the best experience possible. There will be a lot of work to do over the next few years, but I know that the community is up for it. YASTA is looking forward to working with STM Quest as we promote the region together. We also want to thank the Nova Scotia International Ferry Partnership for their perseverance in seeing this matter through."