Car Ferry Update

Please find the minutes from today’s Tancook Island Ferry Infrastructure Project Meeting. If there is something I am missing please do not hesitate to contact me. If anyone would like a pdf copy of the minutes please send me a message through email at

Thanks Ann

Tancook Island Ferry Infrastructure Project

Information Meeting – Monday, March 21, 2022

63 Islanders from Big and Little Tancooks
Danielle Barkhouse, MLA Chester St. Margaret
Nicole Mosher – Constituency Assistant to Danielle Barkhouse
Meredith Murray, Special Advisor, NS Public Works
Daniel Leopold, Director, Fleet Management, NS Public Works
Mark Peachey, Chief Engineer (Acting), NS Public Works
John Majchrowicz, Marine Manager, NS Public Works
Chasidy Veinotte, Councillor, District 10 Municipality of the District of Lunenburg
18 car ferry
Bike racks
Upper open viewing deck – 12 seats
Inside seats – 50
Being built by AF Theriau and the ferry is in the process of being built
E.Y.E. Marine drafted the plans
Mirror of the Margaret Justice – Freeport, Long Island and Westport, Brier Island
Like the other ferries they will use the Community and the children in our school to name the new vessel. Proposed name will go to the Minister for approval.
The ferry will land off of Shoals Cove in Blandford
Province of Nova Scotia bought 22 acres for the Blandford Terminal
They found lush eelgrass in Blandford so the plans had to be altered to avoid this protected area.
They also found lush eelgrass off of Big Tancook so those plans also had to be altered slightly.
There will be a parking lot in Blandford for 75 cars.
They will encourage those visiting the islands to still travel on foot or with bicycles.
Blanford will have heated washroom facilities.
The parking lot in Blandford will have lighting but not security cameras
There will be no charge for parking or time limit someone is able to park.
Everything went through stringent environmental studies.
The new ferry will be significantly quieter than the Ernst.
The entrance to the new ferry terminal is also the road to an operational fish plant; the
road is rated for commercial traffic.
Ferry will not be handling Freight of any kind.
The tenders will be ready to go out in the next couple of weeks
Hoping work will begin in Blandford and Big Tancook late summer or early fall.
Little Tancook
Existing wharf will be cut off below waterline and will be used as a breakwater
There will be a certain length from the shore that will be used for the ferry to come in against.
The road may be realigned slightly.
When a car arrives in Blandford to go to Little there will be a separate little Tancook line and those people will be dropped off first. If a car then gets on Little going too big the car will essentially go in the opposite direction, however, the ferry can easily turn around to ensure all cars are facing the correct direction.
If there is no one on for Little or no one to be picked up the ferry will not stop there.
Little Tancooks infrastructure will be done after Blandford and Big. It will be 1 year longer for completion of Little Tancook slipways.
Once the Ernst is no longer able to dock at Little or the new ferry is put in service and construction begins on Little there will have to be an arrangement of some other type of boat/small vessel that will service Little Tancook until their infrastructure is completed.
They will look into a little shelter area on Little Tancook where walkers can wait for the ferry.
Little Tancooks project timeline puts the new service in place by Fall of 2024 or Spring of 2025. (1 year after Big Tancook and Blandford)
If something happens to the Little Tancook Wharf prior to this time it was stated that the Federal Government owns that wharf so it would be their jurisdiction regarding the wharf structure.
Big Tancook
There will be a waiting shelter built for those waiting for the next ferry.
There will be a cue area that will hold 20 cars to wait for the ferry and there is a separate exit road for those exiting the ferry.
Big vehicles, trailers, trucks etc. will be able to cross on this ferry – there will have to be an education piece as depending on level of tide there could be issues entering and exiting the ramps.
It will be first come first serve. Island residents will not be able to butt in front of non residents.
Government wants to ensure they are being honest, open and transparent with this whole process.
Each shift requires 4 crew members.
Mark Peachy says yes our roads will be fixed once the service is up and ready.
At this time the schedule for start and stop times will not change. They will look at the schedule but no commitment will be made to change the time. But they will listen to the residents and welcome your opinions on scheduling. Schedule has not yet been decided.
Big Tancook and Blandford expected time to start construction is late summer or early fall.
Completion of Big Tancook and Blandford will be Fall of 2023 or Spring 2024.
Ernst is still fit to run for another two years.
This service will be much better for the islanders.
Question was asked about our mail service, it was suggested we contact our MP ( I popped a message off to Rick Perkins and he will have his team look into this.)
Public Wifi on the ferry – There is currently no service to offer this option.
How will the new service affect our children that go off island to school. I have sent an email off to Paul Ash asking this question. (Stay tuned)
Walls will not be higher on the ferry. Essentially the vessel will be a mirror of the Margaret Justice.
The ferry can run up to sea winds of 35 – 45 knots.

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