In our opinion: While they fight, Rupert loses

The Alaskan Marine Highway System (AMHS) is facing some tough decisions following massive cutbacks

As reported in this issue of The Prince Rupert Northern View, the Alaskan Marine Highway System (AMHS) is facing some tough decisions following massive cutbacks to the tune of $25.5 million in 2017 from its 2014 fiscal budget.

Four of AMHS’s 11 ferries are being laid up for the summer season and while they have committed to maintaining two scheduled sailings to Prince Rupert — down from four in previous years — there is absolutely no guarantee that might change.

AMHS spokesperson Jeremy Woodrow prefaced his comment with one word that should worry Prince Rupert — proposal.

“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.

Given the drastic budget cutbacks and the stagnation of the AMHS terminal revitilization in Prince Rupert due to American and Canadian government bickering over who will provide the steel, Woodrow’s comments  may not hold water in the upcoming months.

Nick Bowman of the Ketchikan Daily News recently reported on a town hall meeting held in the Alaskan community where AMHS brass were asking whether they should increase fees, reduce the fleet or cut routes.

Unfortunately for Prince Rupert, Bowman reported that Department of Transportation’s Michael Neussl, the deputy director overseeing the ferry system, made it clear who was on the chopping block.

“It’s Prince Rupert or Bellingham,” Neussl is reported to have told the town hall.

At that town hall meeting, Neussl made it clear that the terminal in Prince Rupert must be repaired and as long as that didn’t happen, the Canadian port call would most likely the one cut.

Whatever one thinks of the protectionist Buy America program that seems to be the biggest stumbling block — the point is moot.

There has to be a compromise. It’s their terminal and they want to use their material. So be it.

This fight has to stop.  There will be no winner.

But there certainly could be a loser — Prince Rupert.

 

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

Just Posted

Such sweetness with all this candy. Dylan Kennedy 7, with his mom Kerri Kennedy volunteer at the Halloween Fest Committee event to bag candy for students in SD 52 on Oct. 19. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
How sweet it is

Bags of candy were assembled by more than 25 Halloween Fest Volunteers for distribution to S.D. 52

Ashley Wilson officer in charge of Prince Rupert Marine Communications and Traffic Services said radio officers in Prince Rupert are the eyes and ears of the Canadian Coast Guard with the job as an ocean first responder being like a 911 dispatcher. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Coast Guard calling for radio officers

Deadline for radio officers applications extended specifically for Prince Rupert and area residents

FILE - Nathan Cullen speaks to media in Smithers, B.C., Friday, February 28, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
More calls come in for Cullen’s removal as NDP candidate

Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs demand Cullen’s removal. Ellis says, There’s no place in B.C. for racism

An election tussle has now erupted over the long-dismantled Skeena Cellulose pulp mill on Watson Island, shown here in a 2013 photo. (File photo The Northern View)
Wilkinson, Horgan tagged over pulp mill file and legal battle

Case dates back to attempt to re-open closed Skeena Celluose pulp mill

ANBT 2021 is still in the planning, Peter Haugan event organizer said on Oct. 13. In the 2020 ANBT, Hydaburg’s T.J. Young drives along the baseline against Prince Rupert’s Brady Johnston. Hydaburg would defeat P.R, but fell to New Aiyansh in the next round. (The Northern View file photo)
All Native Basketball Tournament 2021 still in the planning

“If we cannot run it with our fans, we cannot run the tournament” - Peter Haugan

FILE – People wait in line at a COVID-19 testing facility in Burnaby, B.C., on Thursday, August 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
167 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death recorded as B.C. enters 2nd wave

Three new healthcare outbreaks also announced

This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 particle isolated from a patient, in a laboratory in Fort Detrick, Md. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID/NIH via AP
At least 49 cases of COVID-19 linked to wedding in Calgary: Alberta Health

McMillan says the city of Calgary has recently seen several outbreaks linked to social gatherings

UBC geoscientists discovered the wreckage of a decades-old crash during an expedition on a mountain near Harrison Lake. (Submitted photo)
Wreckage of decades-old plane crash discovered on mountain near Harrison Lake

A team of Sts’ailes Community School students helped discover the twisted metal embedded in a glacier

The official search to locate Jordan Naterer was suspended Saturday Oct. 17. Photo courtesy of VPD.
‘I am not leaving without my son,’ says mother of missing Manning Park hiker

Family and friends continue to search for Jordan Naterer, after official efforts suspended

A bear similar to this black bear is believed responsible for killing a llama in Saanich on Oct. 19. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bear kills llama on Vancouver Island, prompting concerns over livestock

Officers could not track the bear they feel may not fear humans

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Bernard Trest and his son Max, 10, are concerned about B.C.’s plan for students in the classroom. He was one of two fathers who filed a court application in August to prevent schools from reopening if stricter COVID-19 protections weren’t in place. That application was dismissed last week. (Contributed photo)
B.C. dad pledges to appeal quashed call for mandatory masks, distancing in schools

Bernard Trest and Gary Shuster challenged health, education ministries’ return-to-school plan

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
RCMP cleared in fatal shooting of armed Lytton man in distress, police watchdog finds

IIO spoke to seven civillian witnesses and 11 police officers in coming to its decision

A 34-year-old man was treated for a gunshot wound in Williams Lake Monday, Oct 19, 2020. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake man treated for gunshot wound after accidental shooting: RCMP

Police are reminding residents to ensure firearms are not loaded when handling them

Most Read