Governor on board for cruise terminal

BAR HARBOR — Officials in Quebec, rather than Nova Scotia, may be key to kick starting the conversion of the former international ferry terminal here into a cruise ship hub.

At the town council’s regular meeting on Tuesday, cruise ship committee member and councilor Paul Paradis reported on three hours members of his group spent with Governor Paul LePage during a recent tour of the Eden Street facility and ceremony aboard the cruise liner Maasdam.

Currently, officials in Bar Harbor and with the Maine Port Authority and Maine Tourism Bureau are hoping to convince the ferry terminal’s owner, Marine Atlantic, to sell it back to the town for $1 – the price the Canadian government paid when it was sold to them by the town 25 years ago.

Marine Atlantic, however, has been directed to ask for market price – an estimated $4.5 million. The picture has been further clouded by a shake up at the top of the Canadian Transport Ministry.

During the visit, Gov. LePage promised to reach out to his counterparts in the provinces of Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. “The governor was very supportive of our efforts,” Paradis said.

In response to questions,  Paradis said he did not think the governor’s recent announcement of support for the resumption of ferry service between Portland and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia would hurt the local effort. Councilor David Bowden said “I assume we’d like to see any ferry come to Bar Harbor.”

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Earl Brechlin

Editor at Mount Desert Islander
Former Islander editor Earl Brechlin first discovered Mount Desert Island 35 years ago and never left. The author of seven guide and casual history books, he is a Registered Maine Guide and has served as president of the Maine and New England Press Associations. He and his wife live in Bar Harbor.

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