A group of investors seeking to establish a foot passenger ferry service between Nanaimo and Vancouver is going through due diligence on a "significant financial investment" that may allow the project to go forward.
The consortium, named Island Ferries, has recently secured an interested investor who has made an offer to contribute to the venture, according to Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation CEO Sasha Angus.
He said the influx of cash could be the "last piece of the puzzle" to see the project move forward.
Last month, Angus said the consortium was looking at accessing financing through a green infrastructure fund offered by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. But that idea was abandoned, and Angus said at the time that lack of funding remained the primary hurdle in front of the project.
But if due diligence on the latest financing prospect does not falter, Angus said Island Ferries could put the project "over the finish line" within a month. The ferry service could be operational four months after that, he added.
Nanaimo Port Authority president and CEO Bernie Dumas said his organizations has not had any "direct discussions" with the Island Ferries group for "the last little while."
"But we've had a number of conversations with (NEDC) as well as the city and we've been brought up to speed by those two parties on the status (of the project), he said, adding the NPA is "quite receptive" to participating.
Past discussions have raised the prospect of using NPA facilities or land to establish a terminal for the ferry service, he said. "We're still open, and those assets can be brought to bear if it works for them, and we're more willing to talk to them," he said.
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