Profit margin of heavily subsidized Yarmouth-to-Maine ferry service revealed

The CAT, a high-speed passenger ferry, prepares to depart Yarmouth, N.S. heading to Portland, Maine on its first scheduled trip on Wednesday, June 15, 2016. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan)

A private ferry operator has released the management fees it receives from the Nova Scotia government after a judge last week ordered the figure be disclosed.

Bay Ferries said today that under a deal dated April 1, 2018, it is paid $97,500 per month by the provincial government, equalling $1.17 million annually.

The company says in each of the years it has operated the Yarmouth ferry service since 2016, it has received the $1.17-million management fee.

The release of the information about the fee was the result of a Nova Scotia Supreme Court case launched by Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Houston.

Houston launched the lawsuit in February 2019 in an attempt to enforce a recommendation by the former information commissioner, who called for full disclosure of the funding agreement.

The judge concluded in his Feb. 16 decision that revealing the number would not cause financial losses to the ferry service between Yarmouth and Maine.