The Chi-Cheemaun really is a Grand Old Lady. I just love her, lots of fond memories. She is a romantic part of the history of Manitoulin Island, right up there with the Norisle, the Little Current Sales Barn, American Plan resorts, the glory days of the timber runs, massive coal piles, the list goes on and on.
From now on ferry service to Manitoulin must compete with Hwy 69. People like to ride the ferry. They also like to get where they are going quickly and at least cost. There is no way the Grand Old Lady, chugging along at a snail’s pace, half full, chewing up taxpayer’s dollars, can compete with Hwy 69. What is needed is a private corporation, one that will buy two smaller, faster, more efficient boats. Each terminal needs to have a ferry that leaves every hour on the hour. Passengers need to ride at no charge. Vehicles need to pay slightly less than the cost of driving around. I have no idea how practical all of this is. It may well be there is just no possible way this can happen. If that’s the case, Hwy 69 wins the war. The ferry service dies. Sorry about your luck, that’s just the way it is.
I am a promoter. You give me a cause that I really truly believe in, I can promote it. I would love to be a shareholder in a company providing ferry service to the Island at a profit. I don’t think I’m alone.
There is an old saying, “you can lead, you can follow, or you can get out of the way, because we are going ahead.” Maybe the time has come for The Grand Old Lady to just quietly get out of the way.John Featherstone Evansville