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A new ferry is coming to Country Harbour

Country Harbour is getting a new ferry – that is one of two new ferry replacement projects announced May 17 in Country Harbour, by Bernadette Jordan, federal minister of rural economic development and Lloyd Hines, provincial minister of transportation and infrastructure renewal and MLA for Guysborough-Eastern Shore-Tracadie.

Making the announcement at the Country Harbour Community Centre, Hines said the departments involved aim to have the Country Harbour Ferry replaced in 18 months.

The new ferry for Country Harbour is expected to provide more efficient service, and truncate travel times for many people in the Country Harbour area of the Municipality of the District of Guysborough (MODG).

The federal and provincial governments have agreed to provide $6 million apiece in funding for the two ferry replacements.

Hines said improving infrastructure in places like Country Harbour is of vital importance because often, the needs of rural communities are overlooked, “and a ferry is an extremely important link on [Highway] 316.”

“Ferries have long been a part of Nova Scotia’s transportation system … I think it’s about a 25-kilometer detour to go around it,” Hines said. “Living in Nova Scotia, we’re always close to the water, so we have to deal with the fact that ferries are important in many ways.”

Hines emphasized the importance of the Country Harbour Ferry as a link for the province’s highway system between many communities in the Guysborough area, “and we have to bring those up to snuff, too.”

He indicated the connection the Country Harbour ferry provides could potentially become even more important a link, if any economic growth comes to the region – like in the case of a pending Goldboro Mining project, with Anaconda Mining.

“If the development we’re hoping for comes to Goldboro, then that link becomes very much more relevant, because that brings Port Bickerton into a bedroom community for that development,” Hines said.

“If (a mine) comes along and goes marching along, that’s going to make a major change; we will need infrastructure in place to be able to support it, and a ferry will do that.”


The community of Little Narrows in Cape Breton has also benefitted from the provincial funding, going toward a replacement ferry. The operation of both new ferries will constitute a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.


The Little Narrows Ferry in Cape Breton and the Country Harbour Ferry in Guysborough will be replaced with cable ferries with a capacity of 15 cars. Both ferries will run on more efficient engines and mechanical systems.

Hines said another benefit of the new ferries is the possibility of it supplementing tourism in the area, allowing visitors better access to events like Celtic Colours, and the Nova Scotia Mi’kmaw Games.

“For many people who travel as tourists, they don’t get a chance to get on a boat, but being on a ferry, it can be a special ride for them to make,” Hines said.

In addition to the new ferries, Hines said the province will be sprucing up the approaches to, and facilities associated with those ferries.

“We’ll be cleaning up the signage and bringing flush toilets to the ferries. It’s ridiculous (that there are) pit toilets at those ferries – I don’t see why we aren’t able to do better,” Hines said. “We can do better than that. We’ll push it at the environmental office, to try and use holding tanks and to do what we need to, to effect that change.”

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