Official Launch of Grand Chief Ben Sylliboy Ferry

Official Launch of Grand Chief Ben Sylliboy Ferry

by ahnationtalk on June 20, 202257 Views

June 20, 2022

The new Little Narrows ferry was officially launched today, June 20, as the Grand Chief Ben Sylliboy to honour a well-respected leader who committed himself to serving the Mi’kmaq.

The late Grand Chief Sylliboy, a residential school survivor, promoted Mi’kmaw language, culture and spirituality and played an important role in advancing reconciliation.

“Grand Chief Ben Sylliboy served as the voice for his people for 25 years and led his community for decades. He was a steadfast leader, a wise mentor, and was highly respected by many,” said Public Works Minister Kim Masland. “We are honoured to have our new Little Narrows ferry called after him.”

Grand Chief Sylliboy, of We’koqma’q First Nation, died in 2017 at age 76.

The Department of Public Works held a contest involving the We’koqma’q Mi’kmaw School in Whycocomagh and the Rankin School of the Narrows in Iona to name the new Little Narrows ferry. The successful submission came from Grade 8 student August Francis at We’koqma’q Mi’kmaw School.

The Grand Chief Ben Sylliboy ferry crosses Little Narrows between Inverness County and Victoria County.


Grand Chief Sylliboy had a gift for building connections between individuals, and it is fitting to honour his legacy with a ferry that connects communities in Cape Breton. This tribute reminds us that one individual can have a significant impact through continuous engagement, compassion and empathy.
– Lt.-Gov. Arthur J. LeBlanc

Nova Scotians rely on ferries every day to support their businesses, access essential services and get where they need to be. Launching a brand new, 15-car cable ferry in Little Narrows is great news for residents, ensuring they will have reliable access to this transit service for decades. Our Government is proud to support a more efficient and robust transit option for Cape Breton.
– Jaime Battiste, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Member of Parliament for Sydney–Victoria, on behalf of Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities

Quick Facts:

  • the new ferry will provide an important transportation link in central Cape Breton, serving many workers in the area and providing shorter routes for emergency vehicles
  • the Grand Chief Ben Sylliboy, a 15-car cable ferry, replaced the Caolas Silis, a 32-year-old, 12-car cable ferry
  • the new ferry cost about $6 million, with the federal and provincial governments each funding about $3 million
  • it will provide a reliable service for the next 40 years and have lower operating costs and greenhouse gas emissions

Additional Resources:

Nova Scotia provincial ferries:


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