Group to resist ferry cuts

An Islands Trust trustee for Hornby Island is among a group planning to resist BC Ferries service cuts.

An Islands Trust trustee for Hornby Island is among a group planning to resist BC Ferries service cuts.

Tony Law is part of the group of First Nations council representatives, elected officials, grassroots organizers and concerned business owners.

“We are an alliance of B.C. residents and businesses who are fighting for the 20 per cent of British Columbians that rely on the ferries to connect them with their homes and their livelihoods,” said Kathy Ramsey from Gabriola Island. “Our communities generate 36 per cent of the province’s revenue. The people of B.C. cannot afford NOT to listen to us.”

Ramsey hosted an extended video conference Jan. 9.

The group calls on the Province to:

• Immediately rescind the cuts that are already devastating many of their communities and economies, and guaranteed to sink tourism and business opportunities by summer 2014;

• Engage in meaningful dialogue with the most directly affected stakeholders in the BC Ferries service: the residents of ferry-dependent communities;

• Insist that BC Ferries and the Province recommit to a long-term sustainable plan for the ferry fleet, and re-affirm that BC Ferries is an essential transportation service;

• Instruct the ferry commissioner to actively oversee BC Ferries as an entity managed for the public good in order to facilitate social and economic growth;

• Ensure that fiscal fairness is practiced for the benefit of all communities: BC Ferries needs to be just as reliable, affordable and accessible as other provincial transportation infrastructure.