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Marine Atlantic Purchases MV Blue Puttees and MV Highlanders

May 26, 2015

Through a strong financial contribution and ongoing commitment by the Government of Canada to solidifying Marine Atlantic's fleet for the future, Marine Atlantic confirmed today that it will purchase the MV Blue Puttees and MV Highlanders to continue serving customers travelling between Port aux Basques, NL and North Sydney, NS. The vessel purchase is part of an approximately $375 million investment in Marine Atlantic's service announced as part Budget 2015.

Today's announcement builds upon the previous 5-year, $521 million funding commitment announced in Budget 2010 which was used to renew Marine Atlantic's fleet, upgrade shore-based infrastructure and renew business processes.

"We are very excited with this announcement and the benefits for our customers," said Paul Griffin, Marine Atlantic's President and CEO. "These vessels will provide positive results for Marine Atlantic's service for years to come. We have already witnessed significant improvements over the past five-years; this new funding envelope will see that momentum continue into the future."

Both the MV Blue Puttees and MV Highlanders have been on charter agreement from Stena since joining Marine Atlantic's fleet in 2011. The vessels have dramatically improved vessel reliability, added significantly more vehicle capacity, increased the number of cabins and seating spaces available to customers, and introduced many new amenities for the use of passengers. Today's announcement is in addition to the extension announced in February for the MV Atlantic Vision .

"Our fleet's performance has demonstrated our vessels are well-suited to meet the needs of our service. Since 2011, customer satisfaction rates have increased by almost 20 per cent, on-time performance has improved to 90 per cent, and the time it takes to recover from weather delays has been cut in half. The capacity offered by our vessels is allowing us to carry significantly more traffic in a shorter period of time. Our customers are experiencing a more modern and efficient Marine Atlantic."

Marine Atlantic is a federal Crown Corporation that receives funding and reports to the Government of Canada through Transport Canada.

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Media Contact:

Darrell Mercer

Corporate Communications

Telephone: 709-772-0073 or 709-727-2405

Email: dmercer@marineatlantic.ca