HRM’s three ferry terminals will see an almost $400,000 security upgrade as part of the federal government’s push on infrastructure spending.

Yesterday at the Dartmouth ferry terminal, Defence Minister Peter Mac-Kay announced $393,000 toward physical security upgrades at the Dartmouth, Halifax and Woodside terminals.

No one cited any specific security issues at the terminals in the past. One Metro Transit staffer yesterday said it was “very rare” that they had to deal with any problems, even drunk passengers.


But MacKay said beefing up security is a proactive move.

“It’s meant to be prepared and to pre-empt any security breaches,” said MacKay. “It’s an effort to modernize and prevent any security threat.”

Changes include more cameras and fences, better lighting and new communications equipment. The funding also means contract work for between 15 and 20 people.

“We’re just trying to be able to control the access points … there have been some people going places where they’re not supposed to be, so this will help control those elements,” said Mayor Peter Kelly.

The changes are meant to improve security without impeding the flow of traffic.

The money is tagged for ferry service specifically and can’t be used toward installing cameras on buses. The municipality is still working on higher surveillance for buses after several attacks on bus drivers last year.

The contract for that project is out for proposal and Kelly hopes to see it done throughout 2009.

Yesterday’s announcement fits with government promises to back infrastructure to help fight the economic downturn. Kelly has a list of $1.2-billion worth of priorities he hopes to see completed.

“This has been approved, so we move this off the list and everything else moves up the list,” he said.

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