With the release of today’s federal budget, Canada’s ferry sector is praising the actions taken by the government to improve fleet renewal across Canada. This includes waiving the tariff on the importation of vessels of all sizes and making strategic investments in locations throughout the country.
“Today’s budget will have a real impact on passengers throughout the country,” said Serge Buy, CEO of the Canadian Ferry Operators Association
(CFOA). “Through various measures, the federal government is helping the 55 million passengers that use ferries every year.”
The tariff, initially created to protect the shipbuilding sector was no longer relevant as shipyards were at (or near) full capacity due to the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy and all trade agreements signed by Canada saw the elimination of the tariff in the short to mid-term.
Eliminating the tariff allows operators to make strategic investments in capital projects and fleet renewal. The capital projects will, in turn, create jobs in Canada. Furthermore, the elimination of the tariff will allow operators not have to make decisions that may mean additional costs to fare payers.
“Ultimately, this means that operators will be able to renew their fleets with vessels that are more efficient, safer and better for the environment as well as make strategic investments in infrastructure,” added Mr. Buy.
Provincial governments have also provided leadership on this with Minister Todd Stone in British Columbia
and Minister Al Hawkins from Newfoundland and Labrador playing a central role in supporting CFOA’s position.
Other initiatives undertaken in Budget 2016 include:
- Support for ferries in Atlantic Canada - $51.9 million
- Support for key government services including transportation infrastructure for airports and ferries
- Investing in Marine Atlantic infrastructure - $22 million
- Investing up to $3.4 billion in public transit