Province Helps Secure Future Of Georgian Bay Ferry Service
Ministry of Northern Development and Mines
July 11, 2007 – 158
Chi-Cheemaun Engine Retrofit Keeps “Big Canoe” On Lake Huron For Next 25 Years
SUDBURY – Ontario’s M/S Chi-Cheemaun will continue to ply the waters of Georgian Bay for at least another 25 years thanks to a major provincial investment in the ship’s engine retrofit, Northern Development and Mines Minister Rick Bartolucci announced today.“Our government recognizes the importance of the Georgian Bay ferry service to the economic and community vitality of the Bruce Peninsula and Manitoulin Island,” said Bartolucci. “Our investment will allow for the continued operation of a unique provincial tourist attraction that will continue to draw people to the region well into the future.”
The McGuinty government invested $9.7 million in the retrofit of the ferry’s engines, including installation of new main engines, generators, bow thruster and boilers. The three-year repowering project was completed this spring on time and on budget by the Owen Sound Transportation Company, an agency of the Ontario government. All contractors who performed work on the ship are based in Ontario, except for the naval architect, who is from Montreal,. The Chi-Cheemaun launched on schedule last May 4th for its 33rd season of operation. Since 1974, the ferry has made the crossing between Tobermory at the tip of the Bruce Peninsula and South Baymouth on Manitoulin Island.
“Repowering the Chi-Cheemaun was critical for the future of the ferry service,” said Transportation Minister Donna Cansfield. “It now will ensure that the communities along the Bruce Peninsula and on Manitoulin Island continue to enjoy the economic benefits provided by the ship for many more years.”
Stretching 106 meters in length and weighing some 6,991 tonnes, the Chi-Cheemaun is the largest ship of its kind on the Great Lakes. Chi Cheemaun means ‘Big Canoe’ in Ojibway. It can carry 143 cars and 638 passengers and provides safe, efficient transportation to an average of 225,000 passengers and 85,000 vehicles per season.
Other McGuinty government initiatives in support of economic and community development on Manitoulin Island include:
• Investing nearly $3 million in waterfront development projects in Gore Bay and Little Current
• Providing more than $1.1 million for water system improvements in the Township of Assiginack
• Contributing $350,000 for the expansion of Henley Boats, a designer and builder of custom aluminum boats that held its official opening today in Manitowaning.
These initiatives are part of the government’s Northern Prosperity Plan. It has four pillars: Strengthening the North and its Communities; Listening to and Serving Northerners Better; Competing Globally; and Providing Opportunities for All.
MNDM – Sudbury
MNDM – Sault Ste. Marie