Kitimat wants its own ferry service to isolated native communities

Prince Rupert's monopoly on ferry traffic to and from Klemtu, Bella Bella and Hartley Bay could be coming to an end.

The mayor of Kitimat, Joanne Monaghan, wants to see a ferry run between her city and the isolated native communities of Klemtu, Hartley Bay and Bella Bella. Currently all ferry service from those communities goes to Prince Rupert.

But Monaghan says that three-day-a-week ferry to Kitimat from the villages would have major benefits for all the communities involved.

The native communities would benefit from the increased access to the health  and education facilities in Kitimat, extra fresh food that could be shipped over and the possibility for cultural tourism in the future. Kitimat would benefit from the new source of educated workers who could fill the many vacant jobs in Kitimat’s service industries and the upcoming industrial jobs from projects like Shell’s LNG terminal.

“The last time I looked Bella Bella and Klemtu had 60 – 80 percent unemployment in their communities. One of the reasons for this is that they can’t get a job because they don’t have the education,” says Monaghan.

“If we can get these people trained and get them their Grade 12 or whatever they need, then they can get into the work force.”

The Ferries that currently stop in Klemtu and Bella Bella are run by BC Ferries as part of the Inside Passage route between Prince Rupert and Port Hardy. Ferry access to Hartley Bay is run by the Gitga’at First Nation and also goes to Prince Rupert. But Monaghan says that the idea is not meant to compete with Prince Rupert for traffic.

“It would just be another service. Its not there to be competing with anybody,” says Monoghan.

Earlier this month a task force that was looking into the issue finished their feasibility study for the new ferry service, which has now been given over to the City of Kitimat and the Provincial Government. The report has not been made public yet, so Monaghan couldn’t go into the specifics of what the study says.

While Kitimat helped fund the task force along with the Northern Development Initiative Trust, they city council has not officially opted into anything yet, neither have the villages although Monaghan says that they appear to be in favour of the idea.



Just Posted

School Board appoint new chair

James Horne replaces Tina Last, who held the position for 13 years

Rupert dancer heading to Poland for world championships

Dance Academy of Prince Rupert has a dancer competing globally and another won a prestigious bursary

Up to 20 cannabis stores possible in Prince Rupert

City planner said it’s ‘ludicrous’ to expect that many shops downtown

Prince Rupert to celebrate first Métis Awareness Week

Awareness week was proclaimed by Prince Rupert Mayor Lee Brain on Aug. 23

Wind warning for northwest B.C.

Environment Canada states 80-100 kilometre per hour winds expected until the afternoon

Prince Rupert war graves cleaned

Students from Conrad Elementary School cleaned Prince Rupert wargraves on Nov. 6

Delivering the paper as a family

The Northern View is looking for newspaper carriers in Prince Rupert, join our team today

Protesters confront Environment Minister in B.C.

Protesters wanting more for killer whales confront Catherine McKenna

Humans reshaping evolutionary history of species around the globe: paper

University of British Columbia researcher had the paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society

Toronto ‘carding’ activist Desmond Cole stopped by police in Vancouver

Cole says his experience reveals what daily life is like for black and Indigenous residents

Commercial trucks banned from left lane of Coquihalla

B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation has introduced a new program that hopes to prevent accidents and closures on the Coquihalla Highway.

B.C. on track to record same number of overdose deaths as last year

128 people died of overdoses in September, bringing the total to more than 1,100 so far in 2018

B.C. firefighters rescue horse stuck in mud

‘It happens more often than you’d think,’ says deputy chief

Canadians more prepared for weather disaster than financial one: poll

RBC recommends people check their bank app as often as the weather app

Most Read