Ontario government offers to pay for dock repairs

This docking pier at South Baymouth awaits Transport Canada improvements to mitigate low water so the Chi-Cheemaun can dock.

Negotiations have been ongoing for two years

“Current low water levels in Lake Huron, are preventing the MS Chi-Cheemaun from safely docking at the wharves in Tobermory and South Baymouth. The operational challenge is caused by water levels that are lower than the fender units on the existing wharf structure. The wharves, owned and operated by Transport Canada, require immediate maintenance.

Dialogue between the OSTC and Transport Canada has been ongoing for two years without a resolution. It is unfortunate that the Federal Government has yet to accept its responsibility for the work on the wharves as required under its agreements with the Province and the OSTC.

With the ferry originally scheduled to begin sailing today, I cannot sit back and allow the current situation to continue. Following a number of urgent requests made directly to Minister Lebel over the past few weeks, today we are offering to make the necessary funds available to resolve the problems with the wharf.

While we continue to make it clear that this is certainly a federal responsibility, our immediate goal is that the ferry be able to operate safely as soon as possible to avoid serious harm to the local economies and the interests of the people who rely on this service. We have approached them formally to have this work completed. I look forward to hearing back on the matter immediately so that we can determine the most expeditious path forward.”

-Michael Gravelle, Minister of Northern Development and Mines