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November 26, 2012 | last updated November 26, 2012 11:18 am

Nova Scotia courts ferry service bids with new subsidy

Nova Scotia's provincial officials have begun meeting with potential bidders interested in restarting a ferry service that connected the province to Portland.

The Portland Press Herald reported that Bay Ferries Ltd., which operated the previous ferry service, known as "The Cat," has shown interest after Premier Darrell Dexter said his government was willing to spend up to $21 million on the service over the next seven years.

After the province ended subsidies and the company suspended its service, provincial authorities sought new bids to provide the connection but ultimately turned them down citing inadequate financing.

At least three other companies have also expressed interest in preliminary discussions of the ferry service contract, the paper reported.

At the time The Cat stopped operations, it was losing around $7 million a year.

A September report estimated that the service would cost $5 million in startup costs in addition to $21 million to cover operating losses for the first seven years.

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