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CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. — Throughout her summer time swing-through in P.E.I., Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland had no information in regards to the Wooden Islands ferry.
Nevertheless, she mentioned she has been lobbied on the problem by P.E.I.’s elected representatives in Ottawa. Freeland mentioned Cardigan MP Lawrence MacAulay, whose district contains Wooden Islands, even travelled to her residence district in Toronto earlier this yr to elucidate the ferry’s significance to P.E.I.
Throughout a information convention in Charlottetown on July 28, Freeland mentioned Charlottetown MP Sean Casey and Malpeque MP Heath MacDonald additionally raised the problem together with her that day over breakfast.
“I arrived at breakfast actually fairly effectively knowledgeable in regards to the ferry as a result of Lawrence MacAulay got here to Toronto to speak to me about it,” Freeland informed SaltWire.
“And he’s such a persuasive man, I ended up bringing him again to my place for supper – it was roast rooster, you’ll be able to ask him – and he talked to me some extra in regards to the ferry.”
Many companies in Kings County had been dismayed in June when the ferry service between Wooden Islands, P.E.I., and Caribou, N.S., floor to a halt for almost three weeks after the only ferry serving the crossing, the MV Confederation, skilled mechanical points.
A second vessel that had been chartered from Quebec, the MV Saaremaa 1, didn’t arrive on P.E.I. till July 10.
The ferry service disruptions got here almost one yr after a hearth broke out on the MV Vacation Island, a vessel that had operated alongside the MV Confederation. That ferry has since been scrapped. Development of a alternative ferry, first introduced in 2019, shouldn’t be anticipated to be accomplished earlier than 2028.
MacAulay has mentioned he believes the ferry service is vital to the native economic system and says two ferries have to be in place to make sure the crossings proceed.
“You’re fortunate right here on the Island to have a really robust, very persuasive caucus of MPs. They’ve made the case very straight,” Freeland mentioned. “I’ve nothing (to announce) about it at this time. However relaxation assured, they’ve been clear and efficient.”
The MV Saaremaa 1 is owned by Quebec’s ferry service, the Société des traversiers due Québec, which may recall the ferry whether it is wanted in that province.
Katherine Proulx, a communications consultant for Transport Canada, informed SaltWire there isn’t any settlement in place that may make sure the Saaremaa or some other ferry can be obtainable subsequent summer time.
“The settlement to constitution the MV Saaremaa is negotiated on an annual foundation with the Société des traversiers (STQ),” Proulx mentioned in an e mail.
“Transport Canada continues to work with Northumberland Ferries to establish choices for a longer-term interim alternative for the previous MV Vacation Island till the brand new everlasting ferry is delivered in 2028.”
SaltWire requested Transport Canada to supply copies of current inspection experiences accomplished of the MV Confederation, which has skilled repeated breakdowns this summer time. Proulx declined to supply these experiences, stating they contained delicate third-party info.
Proulx’s e mail additionally mentioned SaltWire would want to file an Entry to Data request to acquire the taxpayer-funded inspection experiences.
Fin. Min. Chrystia Freeland in Charlottetown at this time, reminding Islanders that funds for the Canada Employees Profit are to start out arriving at this time. In PEI, eligibility is for these incomes lower than $43K or for single people incomes lower than $33K pic.twitter.com/HbBaaWa817
— Stuart Neatby (@stu_neatby) July 28, 2023
CWB cheques to roll out
Throughout her go to, Freeland additionally mentioned thousands and thousands of Canadians will begin to obtain computerized direct funds on Friday by means of the Canada Employee Profit.
The profit will present a most cost of $1,518 for low-to-medium-income single Canadians or as much as $2,616 for households.
The profit is out there for single Canadians whose web yearly revenue is lower than $33,015, or to households whose web yearly revenue is lower than $42,212.
Freeland additionally introduced the profit can be obtained by means of quarterly funds, as an alternative of in a lump sum on the finish of the yr.
“We all know that the important employees – the low and modest paid employees who’re getting the Canada Employees Profit – they want their cash proper now,” Freeland mentioned.
Freeland mentioned these funds, together with different applications such because the Canada Baby Profit and funding for childcare, will assist P.E.I.’s economic system.
“Lots of the important employees who’re going to get help from the Canada Employees Profit are individuals who work within the tourism trade. And this help goes to make it simpler to draw and retain individuals to these jobs,” Freeland mentioned.
Stu Neatby is a political reporter with SaltWire in Prince Edward Island. He might be reached by e mail at [email protected] and adopted on Twitter @stu_neatby.