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New lease agreement renews Nanaimo-Vancouver fast ferry hopes

Port of Nanaimo, Snuneymuxw announce deal with funding partner
A model of a vessel that was previously planned to come into service between Nanaimo and Vancouver. (Black Press file photo)

A new lease agreement was announced today for a high-speed foot-passenger-only ferry service linking Nanaimo with downtown Vancouver.

A joint press release from the Nanaimo Port Authority and Snuneymuxw First Nation on Thursday, Sept. 16, announced the deal with Conqora Capital Partners for a long-term lease providing access to Nanaimo Assembly Wharf for ferry berths, a terminal and parking.

The press release did not announce timelines and said more details will be provided “in the near future.”

Conqora CEO Rupesh Amin said his firm is excited about the potential of its partnership with the port authority and the First Nation and said a high-speed passenger ferry service linking Nanaimo and Vancouver will be meaningful “for the future of the province.”

Port chairwoman Donna Hais said in the release that a foot ferry is a “vital service” and said the lease announcement is being made with “great pleasure … after many years of talking about a fast passenger service coming to Nanaimo.”

Snuneymuxw Chief Mike Wyse said the First Nation’s working relationship with Conqora and the Port of Nanaimo is made on the basis of respect and recognition for the greater good. He said a fast ferry is a “long-awaited” service in the region.

“We look forward to building on the momentum, building a stronger economy and stronger foundations of respect and co-operation,” Wyse said.

Island Ferry Services previously signed lease agreements with the port authority to try to launch foot-ferry operations.

READ ALSO: Foot ferry service in Nanaimo won’t happen this summer

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The Port of Nanaimo and Snuneymuxw First Nation announced a lease agreement with Conqora Capital Partners for a long-term lease at the port’s Nanaimo Assembly Wharf. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Port Authority)

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