People on Haida Gwaii are anything but second class citizens, but you sure wouldn’t know it by the way they are being treated by BC Ferries and the Ministry of Transportation.
To remove one weekly sailing from Prince Rupert to Skidegate without any public consultation before the fact is so mind-blowingly disrespectful that those involved should be ashamed of themselves. And if they’re not, they should be publicly shamed into realizing the complete and utter idiocy of this idea.
What the Province of B.C. is telling the people of Haida Gwaii — some of the friendliest people anywhere in the world — is that they are not as important as the rest of the province. That if given the choice between choosing residents of Haida Gwaii or the almighty dollar, the province will take the dollar every day.
Let’s face it, the Ministry of Transportation wouldn’t close the only access into any other area of the province once a week to save money. Yet, for some reason, it seems they have no problem in doing just that to the thousands of people who call Haida Gwaii home.
Could you imagine the public outcry if the government said they would shut down the highway to Prince Rupert once a week? Or if they told the people of Vancouver Island they couldn’t drive to Tofino once per week because the government needs to cut costs? It would never happen, and anyone who suggested it in the Legislature would be tarred, feathered and likely laughed out of Victoria in the next election.
And yet reducing the number of trips to Haida Gwaii is having the exact same impact as closing any other highway in the province. It’s one less day groceries or other supplies can be brought to the island communities, it’s one less day residents can connect to the rest of B.C. and it’s one less day the rest of the world can connect to the beautiful islands of Haida Gwaii.
It’s a slap in the face to the people of Haida Gwaii to expect them to accept anything less than what would be acceptable elsewhere in B.C.