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Northumberland Ferries Limited
NFL has operated the ferry service which carries the Trans-Canada Highway across the eastern part of the Northumberland Strait between Wood Islands, Prince Edward Island and Caribou, Nova Scotia since it was established in 1941 by the Government of Canada. This service is seasonal and only operates between the months of May-December on account of heavy sea ice and the lack of icebreaking ferries.
NFL currently operates two vessels which are owned by the Government of Canada: Confederation (built in 1993), and Holiday Island (built in 1971, joining NFL in 1997 after being declared surplus by Marine Atlantic upon completion of the Confederation Bridge). NFL also operates the two ferry terminals in Wood Islands and Caribou, which are owned by the Government of Canada.
In return for operating the vessels and terminals, NFL receives a federal subsidy to offset losses. As of March, 2005 the federal subsidy is currently up for renewal. Transport Canada is proposing to reduce NFL's 5-year operating subsidy to permit operation only between the months of May-October and after 2008 the service will be reduced to only one vessel. Transport Canada's proposed ferry service changes are currently being challenged by politicians throughout the two provinces and the outcome is unclear.
Prince Nova, formerly Erie Isle (1941-1958); Charles A. Dunning, formerly Sankaty (1946-1964); Lord Selkirk (1958-1993); Confederation (1973-1993); Prince Nova (1963-1997); Prince Edward (1972-1997)
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