The Alaska Marine Highway System has confirmed that despite major budget cutbacks and laying up four of 11 ferries

Alaskan woes to have little impact on Rupert

The bleak budgetary outlook for the AMHS will stand to have minimal immediate impacts for its Prince Rupert ferry terminal.

The bleak budgetary outlook for the Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) will stand to have minimal immediate impacts for its Prince Rupert ferry terminal.

That’s the message parlayed by AMHS spokesperson Jeremy Woodrow last week when it was announced that the Alaska Marine Highway is experiencing major budget restraints.

Reports that four of the AMHS’ 11 ferries will be laid up next summer, mixed with a drop in the 2017 fiscal year’s budget of $25.5 million from its 2014 budget ($162.6 million in 2014 to $137 million in 2017) have seen some ports on the AMHS’ routes receive reduced numbers of calls come the summer of 2016.

“Last season, Prince Rupert saw ferry sailings effectively cut in half from four ports of call during the summer to two calls, and this next summer the proposal is to remain at two scheduled sailings per week,” said Woodrow.

“For the summertime, [Prince Rupert] would have a Tuesday and Saturday ferry.”

That’s welcome news for those in Prince Rupert, including Tourism Prince Rupert’s Chair Scott Farwell.

“If they’re committing to maintaining the service of two ships a week, that’s a positive sign. That’s maintaining the status quo because we don’t want to see any further reductions. Recently the commissioner and head of the AMHS were here and they were under some significant budget pressures to reduce the expenditures on that ferry system,” said Farwell.

The news comes at a time where both AMHS and Prince Rupert-Alaskan ferry stakeholders are waiting to find out if any momentum is gained with revitalizing the Alaska Marine Highway terminal in Prince Rupert – a project that has stalled due to protectionist policies in place by the American federal government that enforces a Buy-American component for the iron and steel needed to upgrade the site.

The Canadian federal government’s action in blocking that policy last year has led to a stalemate of inaction between both sides.

The terminal is nearing the end of its lifecycle and is at risk of permanent closure if delays continue to mount.

“From what I’ve heard and what I’ve been told there hasn’t been any new developments in it, but as far as I know the State of Alaska still intended at some point in the future to replace that dock,” said Woodrow.

“I don’t think there’s been any change, however we have a new government so maybe something will rise to the agenda here soon,” added Farwell.

 

Just Posted

City of Prince Rupert foots the bill for armed RCMP officers at Alaska ferry terminal, two trips scheduled

Two temporary voyages between Prince Rupert and Ketchikan added to AMHS schedule in Oct. and Nov.

Climate change, economy and reconciliation take centre stage at Oct. 15 All-Candidates Forum

Six of the eight candidates were in attendance at the Smithers event

LETTER: How do you like these NDP apples MLA Rice?

Prince Rupert District Teachers’ responds to MLA Jennifer Rice’s letter regarding union rally

HAMILTON: Something was wrong — really wrong, but there is hope

Hamilton shares a defining moment in his life for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Spotlight on B.C.: Liberals need at least 10 B.C. ridings to take the election

Black Press Media presents a four-part series into how B.C. will affect the federal election outcome

Kawhi Leonard, former Toronto Raptor, welcomed back to Vancouver at pre-season game

Fans go wild at pre-season game between L.A. Clippers and Dallas Mavericks at Rogers Arena

Greens and NDP go head to head on West Coast; Scheer takes fight to Bernier

Trudeau turns focus to key ridings outside Toronto after two days in Quebec

Anti-pipeline protestors clash with supporters at North Matters event in Smithers.

The event was organized by The North Matters (TNM) and billed as a non-political event

Canucks beat Stanley Cup champs 4-3 in a shootout

Leivo nets winner, Vancouver dumps St. Louis for fourth straight win

‘The more you test, the more you find’: Beef recalls a sign of success, experts say

Despite appearances, experts say a recent rise in major recalls is not a sign of food supply problems

Scholars say religious vaccine objections can’t be traced to Biblical sources

Vaccinations are a requirement to attend class in Ontario and New Brunswick, while B.C. launched a demand this fall

ELECTION 2019: How would the major parties address Canada’s housing crisis?

Promises include speculation taxes, more affordable housing, and declaring housing a human right

Japanese buyer expands wood pellet contract with B.C.’s Pinnacle

Mitsui and Co. increases contract with Interior energy producer

Most Read