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General News · 27th June 2014
Paul Ryan
The Ferry Advisory Committee met with BC Ferries staff on June 10th at the Heriot Bay Inn. Although this was a regularly scheduled meeting, most of the time was spent discussing problems with the new ferry schedule. The committee advised BCF staff that the new schedule was not working and we discussed ways to change it.
As a result of this meeting, the FAC formally recommended that BCF change the schedule back to the original one with the 2/2:30pm and the 11/11:30pm sailings (weekends) being eliminated. This recommendation was made after receiving numerous complaints from our communities and despite objections from Walcan Seafood and their business associates. They felt that a 2 hour gap in the middle of the day would be a big problem for them, even though the gap is now 1 hr 20 min. and the revelation that they have been given the opportunity to reserve space on any sailing for their trucks!
I participated in a conference call on Wed morning with BCF staff where our recommendation was discussed. It became obvious that Walcan and their associates were exerting heavy pressure on the commercial division to keep the schedule the same.
Late yesterday, I received a phone call from Corrine Storey, vice president of Public Relations. She advised me that they had decided to leave the schedule the same, at least until the fall. there was talk of having a meeting with Walcan, then, to try and reach a compromise.
She did assure me that extra sailings would be put in place to deal with overloads, and that the masters of the two vessels would more effectively communicate so as not to leave vehicles from connecting ferries behind.
Get ready for a hectic summer!