Island MPP calls out the province for more ferry service representation

Algoma Manitoulin MPP Michael Mantha is calling for the island to get greater representation on the board of directors for the Owen Sound Transportation Company.

The Crown corporation is in charge of running the Chi-Cheemaun ferry which runs every summer between South Baymouth and Tobermory.

The MPP for Manitoulin Island is calling on Ontario's Minister of Transportation to intervene when it comes to the board of directors at the Owen Sound Transportation Company.

Michael Mantha said Manitoulin Island has been without representation on the board for years and it's unacceptable.

In an open letter to the Minister Caroline Mulroney, Mantha writes:

"As you know, the operation of the Chi-Cheemaun ferry falls under the OSTC, of which you are the sole shareholder. It is your responsibility to appoint members to the board of directors and you have chosen to ignore communities on Manitoulin Island and their interest in the success of the Chi-Cheemaun."

"This is really a slap in the face of the economy of those who are from Manitoulin Island, and that's a harsh word,  but it needs to be harsh because there needs to be a strong signal sent to the Owen Sound Transportation Network," said Mantha.

The MPP said it's been unacceptable to not have someone from either port for this amount of time and he'd like to see it changed.

"There's talent, experience and a need to have one of our own from Manitoulin on the board, it's a complete oversight," he said.

Minister Mulroney’s office responded with the following:

"The Owen Sound Transportation Company board of directors includes broad representation from communities across the North, including Georgian Bluffs and North Bay. There is currently a vacancy on the board, and we welcome any interested Island residents to advance a nomination through the Ontario Government’s appointment selection process."  

"The government needs to ensure equal representation, to ensure there are views that are being represented from a variety of areas," said Mantha.