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General News · 19th October 2011
Ester Strijbos
Approx. 65 people gathered on Monday to meet with the commissioner. Many people spoke up with concerns and suggestions. At the end of the meeting the commissioner told us they will share their advise that the Government will receive after their review is complete. We were the last community that they visited. If you did not speak up on Monday but want to send them your thoughts, please email BC Ferry Commissioner Mr. Macatee: FerryCommissionershaw.ca

Established under the province’s Coastal Ferry Act of 2003, the Commission regulates fares and service levels of the ferry operator British Columbia Ferry Services Inc. (BC Ferries) on 25 saltwater routes. The Commission is independent of both the provincial government and of BC Ferries. In the course of its regulatory activities, the Commission is obliged to follow six principles in protecting the public interest, which are set out in section 38 of the Act. These principles define what is meant by the public interest in providing coastal ferry services and are as follows:

1. priority is to be placed on the financial sustainability of the ferry operators;
2. ferry operators are to be encouraged to adopt a commercial approach to ferry service delivery;
3. ferry operators are to be encouraged to seek additional or alternative service providers on designated ferry routes through fair and open competitive processes;
4. ferry operators are to be encouraged to minimize expenses without adversely affecting their safe compliance with core ferry services;
5. cross subsidization from major routes to other designated ferry routes is (i) to be eliminated within the first performance term of the first Coastal Ferry Services Contract to be entered into under this Act, and (ii) before its elimination, to be minimized;
6. the designated ferry routes are to move towards a greater reliance on a user pay system so as to reduce, over time, the service fee contributions by the government.

Some community members have questioned if these are the right principles to operate under. If you have concerns regarding the principles, please email the Ferry Commissioner at FerryCommissionershaw.ca and our MLA Claire Trevena at claire.trevena.mlaleg.bc.ca

BC Ferry Commissioner Mr. Macatee lives and works in the Victoria, British Columbia. He can be reached at FerryCommissionershaw.ca

The Deputy BC Ferry Commissioner is Sheldon T. Stoilen, BSc, CA. He lives and works on Bowen Island, British Columbia and can be reached at sheldon.stoilenbcferrycommission.com

If you want to read more: www.bcferrycommission.com