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General News · 28th November 2012
Ester Strijbos
I am hoping that each and every one of you will be at this meeting to tell the Ministry staff, and the consultants, that we will not stand for any reduction in services, we want fares reduced and that we want the ferry system treated as the rest of the highway system and funded accordingly. That is all that they need to hear. And they need to hear it again and again, over and over!

The typical government consultation of this type is to try and get the community to give them the right to say to their bosses that the community agrees with what they are trying to put over on us. It is typical "divide and conquer" dynamics. They want to find $26 million in "savings" and they want it to come from us. This is not on, folks. There is no need for "savings", just an obvious need to put the ferries back into the highway system and fund it accordingly. You and I pay for every other form of highway infrastructure throughout this province: roads, bridges, tunnels, trains, buses, etc. Why are we also expected to pick up the lion's share of the ferries that contribute so much to the wealth of this province?

Please be there to drive home these points. We need them to go back to government with a consistent message: No cuts, reduce fares and treat ferries as highways. This is all they need to hear from us. Don't be dragged into the discussion of "which sailings are more important?" It is a trap!

This notice is from Jim Abram, Quadra Island Regional Director

Photo*:
The Kootenay Lake Ferry is a ferry across the Kootenay Lake in British Columbia, Canada. It operates between Balfour, on the west side of the lake, and Kootenay Bay, on the east side. Two ferry vessels are used, the MV Osprey 2000 and the MV Balfour.

The ferry operates under contract to the British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and is free of tolls. A single vessel operates throughout the year, with 10 departures from Balfour between 0630 and 2140, returning from Kootenay Bay between 0710 and 2220. The second vessel operates in summer only, providing an extra 5 crossings in either direction. The crossing is about 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) in length, and takes 35 minutes.

The Osprey 2000 normally operates the main service, and carries a maximum of 80 vehicles and 250 passengers. The smaller Balfour usually provides the additional summer sailings, and carries up to 28 vehicles and 150 passengers.

* Campbell River to Cortes, family of four, no discount. Taxes and fuel surcharges are not included and is round trip fare.