City supports fast ferry plan

Courtenay council agreed Monday to write a letter of support for a proposed high-speed, passenger-only ferry

  • Nov. 5, 2014 5:00 a.m.

Scott Stanfield

Record Staff

Courtenay council agreed Monday to write a letter of support for a proposed high-speed, passenger-only ferry service that would connect Nanaimo and Vancouver.

Nanaimo Mayor John Ruttan has appealed to mayors and regional chairs around Vancouver Island to support the plan by Victoria-based Island Ferry Services.

Courtenay Mayor Larry Jangula feels the proposal is “quite a positive thing.”

Coun. Ronna-Rae Leonard’s only concern is protecting the public interest, noting a previous attempt to operate a fast ferry had failed.

The last foot-ferry service that connected Vancouver and Nanaimo — HarbourLynx — was plagued by mechanical problems and ceased operations in 2006 after three years in business.

The latest foot-ferry project is estimated to cost $72 million. It consists of a pair of 38-metre vessels, each with a 376-passenger capacity. Targeted crossing time is 68 minutes.

The company has said fares will be set between $20 and $39.

Ruttan has asked Transportation Minister Todd Stone to add the ferry project to the province’s list of priorities. Provincial support is required for the federal government to consider the proposal for a Building Canada grant.


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