HALIFAX – Nova Star Cruises is claiming the province of Nova Scotia owes it $2 million, a sum of money the company says would help pay off debts to creditors.
In a release sent out on Tuesday, Nova Star Cruises said the money owed is in the form of a surety bond that was set aside, as required by the US Federal Maritime Commission.
READ MORE: U.S. Marshal seizes Nova Star ferry
Nova Star was promised $21 million from the province in 2013 in a forgivable loan that would cover two years operation.
“If we had received the fill $21 million that the province has repeatedly said in public statements that it provided to Nova Star Cruises, we would have avoided the liens that have been placed on the ship, and most of the creditors would already have been paid,” Nova Star Cruises CEO Mark Amundsen said in the release.
READ MORE: List of Nova Star creditors keeps on growing
Amundsen also said the outstanding amount could be used to pay the $200,00 owed to suppliers in Nova Scotia. Nova Star Cruises also owes more than $1 million to different creditors in the U.S.
The Nova Star ferry provided service between Yarmouth and Portland, Maine for two seasons, but last month the province announced they would be changing their provider to Bay Ferries Limited.
Since the government’s announcement, several creditors came forward claiming they were owed thousands of dollars, and the ferry was subsequently seized.
Low passenger numbers
Nova Star had reported low passenger numbers this season, and had written a letter to the province asking to end the season early, in late August, Tuesday’s release says.
“This was not what the province desired, so Nova Star Cruises continued its daily operation until mid October, causing additional costs to accumulate,” the statement reads.
Nova Star says the province was fully aware of the financial situation the ferry operator was in because they were required to provide weekly financial statements of cash flow, revenue and expenditures for the season.
The province maintains they have cut all ties with Nova Star Cruises and they paid the loan in full.
More to come.