Thursday, August 16, 2012

Captain Monaghan to the bridge!

If Kitimat Mayor Joanne Monaghan has her way, the North coast port will soon be home port to a coastal ferry to serve Hartley Bay, Klemtu and Bella Bella.

Monaghan has been championing the project for over a year now (page 1 Mayor's message of the Kitimat Annual Report), the result now being a feasibility study that has recently been completed and is off to a number of BC provincial ministries for review.

The ferry, would be geared towards tourism and would operate on a three day week basis.

The task force received funding from the Northern Development Initiative Trust and now moves from the concept stage to a more formalized approach.

Considering the reviews for BC Ferries over the last few years have outlined the financial challenges of operating ferry service in Northern Waters, one has to wonder if such a competing service would fare better without subsidy in its delivery of service.

Of note for Prince Rupert of course is the impact that such a service out of Kitimat could have on the BC Ferry Service operations already in place on the north coast.

With few details available yet, the prospect of a service out of Kitimat could result in a reduction from Rupert to those same communities, a spin off effect that could in the end reduce further the state of the current ferry service on the north coast.

The proposed Kitimat Ferry project is however still very much a developmental idea, contingent of further funding from any number of provincial sources.

CFTK TV-- Kitimat Ferry Proposal Sails Forward
CFTK TV -- Kitimat Ferry Update (video)
The Northern View-- Kitimat wants its own ferry service to isolated native communities
Kitimat Daily online-- Ferry Study complete

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