Beausoleil First Nation, Treaty 16 Territory, Ontario — On Friday, February 15, 2019, the Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Indigenous Services, and Chief Guy Monague of Beausoleil First Nation announced funding for a new passenger and vehicle ferry for community members and visitors.
The Government of Canada is providing Beausoleil First Nation with up to $10 million on top of funding for a Professional Project Manager to oversee the design and construction of an ice-breaking ferry capable of carrying up to 150 passengers and 36 vehicles. Canada and Beausoleil First Nation have agreed on cost-sharing arrangements for the design, construction, and delivery of the new ferry vessel to Christian Island in Georgian Bay, where the reserve is located.
The new ferry, which could be put into service as early as 2020, will replace the ageing M.V. Sandy Graham vehicle ferry.
“Today’s funding announcement for a new passenger and vehicle ferry is the culmination of a lot of hard work and will provide increased reliability for Beausoleil First Nation. The community has waited a long time for this much-needed replacement, and our government is proud to invest in this key infrastructure that will have benefits for community members and visitors,” says Seamus O’Regan, P.C., M.P. Minister of Indigenous Services.
Chief Guy Monague says “We are happy that the Government of Canada is partnering with us on this important project for our community. This brand-new, purpose-built ferry will end years of uncertainty and service disruptions that we have had to endure getting to and from our homes, school, and medical appointments, and ensure that emergency transport and essential supplies are available on a reliable basis.”
- Approximately 700 members of Beausoleil First Nation live on the reserve on Christian Island in Georgian Bay, about 25 kilometres northwest of Midland, Ontario, and about 2.5 kilometres offshore.
- The First Nation currently uses the M.V. Indian Maiden, a 70-passenger ferry with ice-breaking capabilities, and the M.V. Sandy Graham, a 28-vehicle ferry, to travel to and from the mainland. The M.V. Sandy Graham will be decommissioned once the new ferry is brought into service.