Ferry Services Contribution Program

The Ferry Services Contribution Program provides funding that supports inter-provincial ferry transportation in Atlantic Canada and Eastern Quebec.

Through this Program, Transport Canada ensures that federally owned ferry assets are part of a safe, reliable, and affordable transportation system. We provide funding to private operators for:

  • ferry operations
  • maintaining Transport Canada's ferry assets

In support of these services, we also own four ferry vessels and six shore facilities, which we lease to operators for a small fee.       

Program activities

The Ferry Services Contribution Program:

  • Funds three private inter-provincial ferry operators in Atlantic Canada and Eastern Quebec:
    1. Cap-aux-Meules, Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Quebec and Souris, P.E.I.
      • Operated by CTMA Traversier Ltée year-round.
      • Ship: MV Madeleine – built in 1981 and holds approximately 200 cars.
    2. Saint John, N.B. and Digby, N.S.
      • Operated by Bay Ferries Ltd. year-round.
      • Ship: MV Fundy Rose – built in 2000 holds approximately 245 cars.
    3. Wood Islands, P.E.I. and Caribou, N.S.
      • Operated by Northumberland Ferries Ltd. from May to December.
      • Ships:
        • MV Holiday Island – built in 1971 holds approximately 155 cars.
        • MV Confederation – built in 1992 holds approximately 215 cars.
  • Manages federally owned ferry assets and funds capital repairs.
  • Negotiates, monitors, and amends funding agreements with each ferry operator, as required.

The Program is set to end on March 31, 2020.

In addition to the Ferry Services Contribution Program, Transport Canada provides an annual grant to the Province of British Columbia, indexed to the Vancouver Consumer Price Index. This funding has been set out in a binding legal agreement since 1977.