Thursday, February 6, 2014

Full Speed Ahead for BC Ferries Northern Route cuts

For North Coast ferry users, the final word on Ferry service cuts was delivered on Wednesday

As Transportation Todd Stone announced that proposed route cutbacks to BC Ferries runs, including those on the North Coast and Haida Gwaii will go ahead as planned, with the first of the service changes set for April.

Details of the Governments intent was relayed through the BC Government website with the Transportation Minister outlining the decision.

As we outlined on the blog in November, the Government's course will see a number of reductions to service on the North Coast, affecting both the Prince Rupert to Haida Gwaii run and the Prince Rupert to Port Hardy route.

More on the review and the cuts to come can be found here.

Since the report was delivered, a number of groups on the North Coast had offered up their concern over the direction that the Government was taking, appearing at consultation sessions and taking more personal approach with the Province.

Prince Rupert Council ready to take BC Ferries battle to the Premier
North Coast residents can share their BC Ferries thoughts in December 
NDP send out an SOS on Ferry Services

All it would seem with little sway to their eventual decision.

Though some progress was made for those that live at Bella Bella and Bella Coola where the nature of the cutbacks were scaled back by a small measure, with BC Ferries planning to provide for three to four sailings in the summer, with a further review of the impact on the tourism industry to those communities apparently to come.

Still, the reaction from the North Coast has been quick as local politicians voice their concerns over the pending changes and the impact that they will have on communities and their local economies.

CFTK-- Prince Rupert's Mayor Angry As Province Presses Ahead With Ferry Cuts
CFTK-- Ferry Cuts proceed (video)
N View-- Prince Rupert Mayor waiting for more information before reacting to ferry cuts
N View-- Haida Gwaii leaders lash out at government after cuts to ferry service proceeding as planned
HG Observer-- Little relief for Haida Gwaii in Minister Stone's Announcement

So far, the only reaction from North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice has been a short comment posted to her MLA facebook page.

The BC NDP caucus did however make a more detailed response to the Province's decision, posting this item to their website on Wednesday.

The first of the changes takes effect on April 1st, a date that won't be lost on many travellers and those that rely on the BC Ferry service for more than just the occasional trip.

Victoria Times Colonist-- Government moves ahead with cuts to many B. C. Ferries routes
Vancouver Sun-- B. C. Government to proceed with cuts to BC Ferries service
Vancouver Province-- B. C. Ferries 'minor' route cuts will take effect April 28
Globe and Mail-- BC Ferries service cuts will proceed, minister says
CBC-- BC Ferries cuts $19M in Services
CBC-- BC Ferries to cut sailings, seniors discounts, add slot machines
CTV News-- Government to press ahead with cuts to BC Ferries service
Global BC-- Government confirms BC Ferries service cuts, reduction in service and seniors discount

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