Maid of the Mist: Another company lost to the U.S.?

The popular tourist ride along the Niagara River will be operated by an American company out of California.

Hornblower won a 30-year contract from the Niagara Parks Commission (a provincial commission) and replaced the Maid of the Mist, started as a ferry service in the 1840s.

Made of the Mist was owned by an American family but was operated out of Canada, providing Canadian jobs I would assume.

There is a Hornblower Canada CEO, but it’s not clear to me, if it will be operated out of the U.S. or Canada. Does anyone know? 

Tours start in both Canada and the U.S. but who takes on the administration duties?

“As you make decisions on continuing the current contract or beginning work with a new company, I want to stress that you make every effort to maintain U.S. jobs and uphold the quality of service,” U.S. Sen. Kristen Gillibrand wrote in a letter to Niagara Parks Commission chair Janice Thomson, the CBC reported.

What about Canadian jobs?

What aren’t Ontario officials writing these same kinds of letters?


3 thoughts on “Maid of the Mist: Another company lost to the U.S.?

  1. More salient to the discussion is whether this was an entirely unencumbured free-market transaction or whether there was government intervention or subsidies involved on either side.

    If this was a free and open bidding process then what is the controversy over who won the contract?

    I could only speculate that the contract was available for anybody to bid on worldwide…and if not worldwide, then at least preferrentially to NAFTA partners. Equally, I can only speculate (without having seen the bid documents) that the contract was awarded based on specific terms.
    I personally don’t have any idea about what, or if any, specific terms were included about domestic jobs, “administration duties” nor about what other strict performance criteria were involved.

    It would be interesting to note however, over its storied past if the “Maid of the Mist” ever actually operated as a fully-independent business without any tax-payer cash infusions, and when it became the responsibility of the Parks Commission.

    The above example of politicians doing lip-service to platitudes should hardly be news.

  2. Anyone,
    I talked to a Niagara-area native today and he said the Maid of the Mist made a ton of money but never “sank” much back into the boats. I do not believe there was any money from gov’t. coffers put into the operation.
    My point about jobs is that Obama is fighting for American jobs so shouldn’t our levels of government be fighting for Canadian jobs as well?

  3. Please recognize that the corporate entity that won a bid to operate the Maid of the Mist concession was offerred by the Canadian government (Parks Comission) that ultimately still maintains some kind of control. The contract as you wrote is for 30-years, it wasn’t a sale…it is more of a long-term rent or lease operation. We don’t know any of the terms of the contract (FOI?) and more importantly it doesn’t mean that it won’t or rather hasn’t employed Canadians, and won’t or hasn’t paid Canadian corporate taxes and other statutory fees. If it is doing, or has done any business in Canada, as your contact claims, making “a ton of money” it is also responsible for all kinds of taxes, HST and other corporate filings, fees, licences and witholdings for employees. Of course employees will need some form of work visas if they are not Canadian…and employer will need to prove that a Canadian worker can not fill the job vacancy. Most foreign-owned companies are organized for legal reasons as Canadian-subsidiaries…i.e. Sears(Canada); McDonald’s (Canada).

    Also. it is important to note whether the above company, if it is indeed owned by a US-based corporate parent entity it may still be owned and operated by a board and owners who are Canadian citizens

    All politician’s love touting populist themes and too-readilly spout job creating pie-in-the sky schemes that are aimed more at trying to keep their jobs first and foremost.

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