January 21, 2015 - Telegraph Journal
A contest to name the ferry that will replace the Princess of Acadia was announced Wednesday simultaneously on both sides of the Bay of Fundy.
Rodney Weston, MP for Saint John was at the ferry terminal in Saint John and Greg Kerr, MP for West Nova, was in Digby to announce the contest which remains open until Feb. 20. Submission forms are available on the Princess of Acadia, at both ferry terminals and online at ferries.ca/naming.
The top name suggestions that meet the eligibility criteria for the registry of Canadian vessels will be presented to the Minister of Transport Lisa Raitt for the final selection.
In December, nearly 18 months after the announcement that the MV Princess of Acadia ferry would be replaced, the new ferry made its first appearance in Saint John after a 9,400-kilometre journey from Greece. Formerly named the MV Blue Star Ithaki, it was renamed the MV Canada2014 for the journey but will be renamed again before it goes into regular service.
“It’s a major link that connects families, businesses and communities that are separated by the Bay of Fundy,” Weston said of the ferry service. “It not only generates jobs but it stimulates the economy of this region.”
Officials are looking for names that promote Canadian culture, history or geography and the winner should have regional significance, Weston said.
The name should be brief and easy to understand, so complicated spellings and pronunciations are not recommended, according to the guidelines.
The organizers will not consider naming the ferry after any living person but will look at suggestions of names of people who have died.
There is no prize or award for the winning submission.
The ferry is a significant investment by the government of Canada and shows how important the service is to the economy of the region, Weston said.
“Since 2006 we have invested more than $41 million ensuring that this service continues,” he said.
Some have questioned the expenditure but officials at both the federal and provincial levels of government believe it is worth it.
“With the current economic situation this is the last place you would want to cut,” Weston said. “This promotes economic activity. This continues trade between out two provinces.”
The ferry is considered a vital service in Atlantic Canada, he said.
“It’s not somewhere we want to look at cutting back at this point in time,” he said.
The new ferry is expected to go into service in the spring of this year. It is currently undergoing renovations in Halifax to convert the engines from heavy oil to marine diesel, Weston said. After the engine work some minor retrofitting will have to be done to the docks in both Saint John and Digby to accommodate the new vessel.
Weston said he has toured the vessel in Halifax and says it looks good.
“The Princess of Acadia has served us well but her time is getting close,” Weston said.
The Greek ferry is much newer and should be more reliable because of its age, he said.
Serge Buy, CEO of the Canadian Ferry Associations, said his organization is glad to see the public has been asked to be involved in the naming process.
His only criticism is that the contest is limited to one month and suggested it could have been launched earlier.
Read more, click here.