Frustration mounting for Boblo Island residents with lack of ferry service


Another delay for residents of Boblo Island.

The island ferry went out of service around 1:30 p.m. on Friday, October 27, and according to Amherstburg's mayor, it likely won't be back in service until Monday or Tuesday next week.

The ferry is privately operated by Amherstburg Ferry Company, which is owned by Amico Properties, who also own Boblo Island. 

Amherstburg Mayor Michael Prue, who lives on the island, says everyone on the island got an email on Wednesday night that said the ferry wouldn't be ready for a little while longer.

It's either being put back in the water on Friday night or Saturday morning before making its way down river to Amherstburg.

"It's not been released to carry anybody. There was also a cryptic note that people were coming on Monday to inspect the ship, and to look at the radio system," Prue said.

Prue got on the pontoon boat Thursday morning that can take about eight to 10 people from the island to the ferry dock, and he says he'd never seen this much anger over the delays.

"This has gone from inconvenience to anger, and there was anger not only at the ferry company, not only at the developer, there was even one guy angry at me," he continued. "Because he doesn't think the town has a very good policy related to emergency management."

Prue says he promised the man that he would look into strengthening their policy on emergency management.

Part of the frustration is that even Prue has not been given an exact reason for the delay beyond 'routine maintenance' and the smaller Transport Canada vessel hasn't been running either.

"I have asked the Fire Chief if he could use his good offices to go to Transport Canada and find out why the smaller ship was shut down, and what if anything caused Transport Canada to insist on bigger repairs on the bigger ship."

He said he's not sure whether Bruce Montone can even do that, so it's something Prue might have to raise with legal counsel at the Town of Amherstburg.

Residents on Boblo Island are required to pay upwards of $5,000 in ferry dues each year, for access to the private ferry that is supposed to operate 24/7, 365 days a year on a 20 minute schedule.