BC Ferries open houses an insult

Sitting in the audience at the BC Ferries open house on proposed ferry cuts, there were two things that became abundantly clear.

Sitting in the audience at the BC Ferries open house on proposed ferry cuts, there were two things that became abundantly clear.

The first was that those on the panel who don’t live on the North Coast don’t necessarily view the BC Ferry service between Prince Rupert and Skidegate as part of the provincial highway system — but everyone who took the time out to attend a meeting in Sandspit, Queen Charlotte, Masset or Prince Rupert does. It’s how people on Haida Gwaii get their groceries, their mail, their access to medical procedures and how they connect with their families.  The message was one delivered time and time again and should be the top point for the traveling bureaucrat roadshow to take back to Victoria when these meetings are done.

That segues nicely into the second thing that became very clear: The people that were sent around the province and the consultation process itself was nothing more than a petty public relations tactic by BC Ferries and the B.C. government. They are, in effect, completely powerless and fully acknowledged it by stating that any decisions about the cuts or the timing of the cuts would be made by elected officials.

They were, in essence, glorified messengers. They brought information to the people of the North Coast and they were bringing information back to people who have some semblance of power in Victoria. They sent along a deputy minister and a BC Ferries vice-president, but they might as well have sent along a DVD and a tape recorder for all the difference it makes.

Mayors Jack Mussallem and Dave MacDonald of Port Edward said they would be taking the issue directly to the Premier, and here’s hoping other municipal leaders in the effected communities join in and make an en masse spectacle at Christy Clark’s office. Sending simple messengers, not decision-makers, will do nothing to squash the fears that the decisions have been made and the feedback from these open houses doesn’t matter.

It is now up to the government to prove us wrong.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Four air ambulance flights out of Terrace delayed or cancelled

Pandemic precautions caused nighttime closure of service station providing weather data to pilots

Skeena Resources, Tahltan prez excited by purchase of Eskay Creek

Skeena gets full control of mine, Barrick gets 12 per cent of Skeena and a one per cent royalty

CityWest announces new CEO

Stefan Woloszyn will start Aug. 17 to head up Prince Rupert, Kitimat, Terrace and Smithers region

CityWest announces new CEO

Stefan Woloszyn will start Aug. 17 to head up Prince Rupert, Kitimat, Terrace and Smithers region

Terrace conservation officers relocate Spirit bear

Bear roamed Kitsumkalum Valley north of Terrace for many years

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

BREAKING: Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

Northern B.C. First Nations call for reversal of grizzly bear hunting ban

Growing grizzly populations have led to fewer ungulates and increased fear of attacks says Chad Day

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

NHL’s Canadian hubs offer little economic benefit, but morale boost is valuable: experts

Games are slated to start Aug. 1 with six Canadian teams qualifying for the 24-team resumption of play

‘Made in the Cowichan Valley’ coming to a wine bottle near you

Cowichan Valley has the honour of being the first sub-GI outside of the Okanagan

Most Read