Opposition cries foul as Nova Scotia ponders paying for U.S. border agents

Nova Scotia is considering footing the bill for U.S. border security agents in Maine serving the privately run ferry to Yarmouth, N.S.

Transportation Minister Lloyd Hines says nothing has yet been decided in talks with U.S. officials, but it could be part of the cost of doing business as the ferry moves to a new entry point.

The ferry is set to move to Bar Harbor from Portland, Maine, after Bay Ferries, the heavily subsidized private operator, struck a deal with the town last fall.

Hines also says the province hasn’t made a final decision yet on paying for more than $3 million in upgrades to Bar Harbor’s ferry terminal, but he says it’s reasonable to expect it would incur at least “some of the cost.”

Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Houston says paying for civil servants in another country is inappropriate and doesn’t strike him as a “normal” cost of doing business.

NDP Leader Gary Burrill says while he believes the ferry is an essential piece of Nova Scotia’s infrastructure, the province shouldn’t be “running to the Americans with an open cheque book.”

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