Yarmouth‑US Ferry Panel

On April 23, 2012, Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter announced the creation of an Expert Review Panel on a Yarmouth-US Ferry. This arm's-length panel was to clearly define the requirements for a viable ferry service between Yarmouth and the United States. The Panel's independent report, entitled Re-Establishing a Yarmouth-US Ferry? An Analysis of the Issues, was released to the public on September 7, 2012. The panel's report is available here for download in both Executive Summary [144KB] and Full Report [3MB] formats.

The Centre for International Trade and Transportation at Dalhousie's Faculty of Management was pleased to provide, on behalf of the Department of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism, secretariat support for the Expert Review Panel on a Yarmouth-US Ferry.

The formal charge to the panel consisted of five questions:

  • What are the key factors that would determine the long-term economic viability of a ferry service between Yarmouth and the United States?
  • What type of ferry service, if re-established, would be most appropriate?
  • What annual number of net new visitors to Nova Scotia, within an estimated range, would likely be attracted if a ferry service between Yarmouth and the US were re-established?
  • If a Yarmouth-US ferry service were re-established, what would be the likely impact on the existing service between Digby and Saint John?
  • Across a range of reasonable assumptions as to future trends in the key factors affecting the viability of a Yarmouth-US ferry service, what amounts of initial and ongoing government support would likely be needed to secure a commercial operator?

The panel was not asked to make a policy recommendation to the Government of Nova Scotia as to whether a ferry should or should not be re-established. It was asked to undertake a technical assessment of the potential for the business viability of a re-established ferry operation, and to provide government with important input to its policy decision as to whether to make available public assistance to support resumption of a ferry service to the US.

Media contact:

Melissa MacKinnon


Cell: 902-240-9077