A top official in the Nova Scotia government plans to travel to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, on Tuesday to announce the government’s plans for the future of the ferry service between Yarmouth and Portland.

The government and the operators of the Nova Star ferry have been negotiating a new contract for the ferry service, which had a disappointing inaugural season last year. The 2015 sailing schedule has not been set, and the public has not been able to buy tickets.

The ferry service has become a big political problem for the government because the tax subsidy needed to keep the daily ferry service running has proven to be much costlier than had been anticipated.

The province had planned to give the operator, Nova Star Cruises, $21 million (Canadian) over seven years. The government ended up spending $28.5 million in the first year, including $2.5 million approved on Dec. 23 to pay for berthing, staffing and transportation costs to move the ship from Nova Scotia to South Carolina for the winter.

Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minister Michel Samson will outline the government’s plan at a news conference at the Visitor Information Centre in Yarmouth. Local business and political leaders will also attend.