Thank you for your excellent July 17 article titled “Nova Star ferry’s passenger count remained low in June.”

We in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, believe strongly that this service deserves a fair chance to achieve sustainable success, and know that said “fair chance” includes reasonable support.

Folks, this service exists because the Nova Scotia government committed $21 million to it. Two serious contenders came through with credible proposals. The state of Maine led the province of Nova Scotia to believe that it would stand behind a $5 million loan guarantee. Then a proponent was selected.

We’d anticipated spending $12 million the first year, and the remaining $9 million over the next six, but two surprises have forced us to pony up $7 million more.

The biggest surprise was that we’d misunderstood that $5 million “commitment” from the state of Maine. So our cash-strapped province did the honorable thing, now leaving us with only $2 million, not $9 million, for the next six years.

Maine does very well from this service. Nova Star Cruises is primarily Maine-based. Almost all goods and services are provisioned from Portland. Passengers stay at your hotels and eat at your restaurants. So you have a stake in this service, and as it develops, you stand to benefit much more from it.

Nova Scotia is in bad financial shape. Our $2 million won’t be enough to keep the boat sailing next year. Therefore, I encourage all Maine businesses and individuals who care to put pressure on their representatives to make sure that the state of Maine honors its original word, and ensures that Nova Star Cruises gets what it needs, when it needs it.

Let’s work together to make sure the Nova Star succeeds. Succeed it can, if we all give it a chance.

John Sollows

Yarmouth, Nova Scotia