Ice damage to the Bluewater Ferry causeway. Jan 2018, photo by Sue Storr.

New Hope For Sombra Ferry

The future of Sombra’s Bluewater Ferry may be bleak, but local politicians aren’t giving up without a fight.

Sarnia-Lambton MP Marilyn Gladu and St. Clair Township Mayor Steve Arnold met with the parliamentary secretary to the minister of oceans and fisheries last week to discuss an alternate, cheaper solution to the original $2.5-million proposal.

Gladu says it was a positive meeting.

“It’s always good when the government is listening and making time and actually looking for the impact in understanding that it’s not just one private owner that’s impacted by the border crossing being closed,” says Gladu.

The secretary said he would brief the minister, who’s responsible for the coast guard, and they would come back with a response in the near future.

Gladu believes speaking with the secretary was the best course of action to reopen the border crossing, which she says has a major impact on trade and revenue on both sides of the river.

“[The border crossing] is the alternative when the Bluewater Bridge is closed and it has been closed a number of times,” she says. “I think they recognize that having that contingency is important for trade, and there are people on the US side who are involved with the NAFTA negotiations that are noticing this and looking for the Canadian government to act.”

Gladu says the new alternative solution wouldn’t be beautiful but it would be functional.

The raised road leading to the dock and Canada Customs office was washed away by St. Clair River ice in early January.