Thursday, February 15, 2024

Status of AMHS service for Prince Rupert was primary focus for Mayor from recent Southeast Conference Gathering

The members of the Southeast Conference met last week, the collective of 180 member organizations and Alaskan communities of which Prince Rupert is a member, hosted a three day gathering to discuss a range of issues and concerns for their membership. 

At Monday's City Council Session, Mayor Herb Pond offered up some thoughts on the gathering which he attended virtually, noting for Council that it's not quite the same experience as the in person events might be, while also explaining the importance of that group to Prince Rupert.

"I attended Vitally Southeast Conference last week, I've gotta tell you it's really boring to sit in your office for three days attending a conference on line.

Southeast Alaska Conference is important  to us in a number of ways, but my great interest was in trying to continue to gauge what the appetite is for re-establishing Alaska Ferry Service into Prince Rupert.

And reconnecting us to those communities that we've been so close to in the past. 

And some of which are culturally important, you know the Haida go back and forth, the Ts'msyen go back and forth and that loss of that ferry connection has really, really hurt culturally"

Towards the Marine connection overview, Mr Pond also provided a snapshot of what the current status of the Alaska Marine Service and its connection to Prince Rupert was at, noting of the challenges that remain before the service resumes.

"There is no good news, there's nobody's got a magic wand to solve all of the issues to restoring that service, except that, there is an appetite and a hunger for the communities of Southeast to see it restored.

I heard a number of Mayors talk to that point when they had a chance in front of government.

And the Alaska Marine Highway System themselves, continue to maintain that as an objective to return service to Prince Rupert.

But, there are some major hurdles to that and I won't go into them, except to say that the dock here needs a lot of work and there's some barriers to having it fixed and there's not a vessel right now that can do that route, because it has to be safety of life at sea certified, so there's barriers.

But there is an interest"

The full presentation to Council can be reviewed from the City's video archive starting at the 47 minute mark.

Some notes related to the February 6-8 conference can be reviewed here.

We outlined how the Alaskans view the fate of the service last week,  with as the Mayor noted a number of challenges still in the way towards a full return to the Ketchikan-Prince Rupert connection.

More notes on the Alaska Marine Highway System can be reviewed here.

A wider overview of Monday's Council Session can be explored through our Council Archive page.

1 comment:

  1. A three day online conference and two trips to Alaska with a city delegation in the past year to find out the ship is sick and there is no doc in rupert to treat it?
    It’s a-boat time to move on to other issues.