COLUMN: Stuck on an island

Comment on BC Ferries increasing sailings for North Coast region

One of the things I have a hard time explaining to my family in Ontario is how far away Prince Rupert is from just about everything.

If you live in Toronto or any other medium to large-sized city, you will always be within 15-20 minutes of another community. Also, if you don’t drive and need to travel further than that, there is enough transportation infrastructure in place to get you where you need to go.

READ MORE: Northern residents rejoice at increase BC Ferries sailings

Need to go commute to a city three hours away for school, work or to visit a relative? No problem, there is a regular, reliable bus or train that will take you there.

That is why recent announcements by the province that BC Ferries will increase its sailing service along coastal routes resonated so much. If transportation from Prince Rupert to neighbouring communities is hard, travelling from the island communities surrounding Prince Rupert to the mainland is harder still.

I’ve never had to decide between missing days of school and going to a doctor’s appointment or had to quit a job because there were no options available to get me to where I needed to go.

It isn’t until you are in a place that doesn’t have those options that you realize just how vital those basic transportation services are.

When I spoke to Greg Martin, the former mayor of Queen Charlotte, he said the situation was like living under “house arrest.”

I’m glad a few of those doors have been opened.

READ MORE: More sailings coming to 10 BC Ferries’ routes

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Matthew Allen | Reporter
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