Ferry vessel

Loyalist Township Council joined more than 1,600 participants from across the province this week at the 2024 Rural Ontario Municipal Association (ROMA) Conference. A key priority for the Township delegation was advocacy concerning the commissioning of the Amherst Islander II.

On January 23, 2024, a Township delegation met with the Minister of Transportation, The Hon. Mr. Prabmeet Sarkaria, to discuss an agreeable path towards commissioning of the Amherst Islander II. The discussions were encouraging and productive, focusing on how the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) and the Township can work in partnership to proactively bring the Amherst Islander II into service.

Township and MTO representatives identified and agreed on the need to hire Helm Management Services (Helm) to provide project management resources to assist in commissioning of the Amherst Islander II. MTO has pledged funding to secure Helm’s services on an immediate basis. Helm has significant experience in the marine sector and has a broad understanding of the operational challenges that must be resolved in order to commission the Amherst Islander II.

Additionally, MTO and the Township agreed to continue to work collaboratively in the pursuit of a deferral of the dry dock maintenance planned for the Frontenac II. By pursuing a deferral of dry dock maintenance for the Frontenac II, Loyalist and MTO can ensure uninterrupted provision of ferry service to Amherst Island while the commissioning of the Amherst Islander II is completed.

“I want to thank Minister Sarkaria and the Province for responding to the recommendations brought forth by the Township, and for recognizing the hard work and professionalism of our staff in operating the Amherst Island ferry service. Together we are committed to providing safe, reliable, and sustainable service to our residents. Loyalist is confident that the actions agreed upon at ROMA conference will help to ensure a clear path forward toward commissioning the Amherst Islander II,” said Loyalist Township Deputy Mayor, Nathan Townend.

MTO and Loyalist Township are steadfast in their commitment to providing reliable ferry service to Amherst Island residents and visitors. The actions agreed upon during the ROMA conference demonstrate the shared commitment to bringing the Amherst Islander II in to service as soon as possible.