Houston: Release the ferry passenger count today

June 30, 2016 at 10:34 am

Liberals still have time to do the right thing

Tim Houston, MLA for Pictou East
HALIFAX, NS – Progressive Conservative MLA Tim Houston says Liberal Transportation Minister Geoff MacLellan still has time to do the right thing and come clean about the Yarmouth Ferry passenger count.

“The Minister could easily release the passenger numbers today and save Nova Scotians the time and the embarrassment from having to get this information from Portland city officials in the coming days,” says Houston. “Minister MacLellan still has time to do right by the taxpayers of this province.”

MacLellan and the Stephen McNeil Liberals have been mum on the passenger numbers and have repeatedly refused to release the count. The City Of Portland, which will receive passenger numbers from Bay Ferries at month’s end, has said it will make those numbers public.

Houston says sending Nova Scotians south of border to get the count is ridiculous.

“Taxpayers are on the hook for millions of dollars,” says Houston. “They are owed transparency at the very least.”

The ferry only has a 99 day sailing season and unconfirmed numbers show only about 3,000 passengers have made the trip. With two weeks down and the need to hit 60,000 passengers, that count is worrisome.

“These early numbers are definitely concerning,” says Houston. “But what is worse is this Minister’s insistence on keeping the count secret. It’s terrible.”

Bay Ferries might not want to release the passenger counts, but Houston says the Transportation Minister has a choice to make.

“It’s very simple,” says Houston. “Is the minister accountable to the ferry company or to the taxpayers who are footing the bill?”