Canadian Ferry Association reacts to 2019 budget

The Canadian Ferry Association (CFA) is pleased with measures announced in the 2019 Budget.

Support for Eastern ferries on routes where the federal government has a constitutional and historical responsibility has been strengthened.  Indeed, the federal government is extending the Canada Ferry Services Contribution program until 2022 and plans to procure three new ferries - one for Marine Atlantic (between Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia), one to replace the MV Madeleine (between Québec and PEI) and the other to replace the MV Holiday Highland (between PEI and Nova Scotia).

The government is also investing further resources in infrastructure projects and we expect the eligibility criteria to enable support for some projects related to ferries.

CFA is concerned that duty redemption for the refit/repairs of passenger vessels has not yet been granted.  The existing 25% duty is a barrier for ferry owners and operators to upgrade their fleets in order to better protect the environment (such as switching to LNG) or to limit underwater radiated noises (especially for Southern Resident Killer Whales on the West Coast and belugas in the Gulf of Saint-Lawrence).  We look forward to a continued discussion on this issue.

Other measures related to pilotage modernization, the Transportation Appeal Tribunal and support for tourism are positive steps taken by the government.