Regional district chairs hammer out ferry priorities

The Island and Coastal Regional District Chairs hammered out priority areas while discussing a common policy concerning ferries at a Friday meeting in Nanaimo.

The Island and Coastal Regional District Chairs hammered out priority areas while discussing a common policy concerning ferries at a Friday meeting in Nanaimo.

The group plans to discuss a policy paper with Transportation Minister Blair Lekstrom and Premier Christy Clark at the Union of B.C. Municipalities conference in Vancouver.

“When we go to UBCM we want to have a common policy paper, something that we think could be done to improve the situation with the ferries,” Comox Valley Regional District chair Edwin Grieve said this week.

Last month, BC Ferries announced plans to cut up to 400 sailings to deal with a $35-million deficit. No cuts are planned for smaller routes such as the Gulf Islands. The corporation is expected to announce further details Sept. 19.

BC Ferries CEO David Hahn says passenger trips have dropped to a 20-year low and vehicle traffic has dropped to an 11-year low. He blames the decrease on rising fuel costs, a slow economy and a strong Canadian dollar. Others blame increased ferry rates.

“It’s certainly a catch-22,” Grieve said. “What we’re trying to do as chairs is to put something positive forward.”

The Coastal Regional District Chairs represents 63 per cent of B.C.’s population on the coast, including Metro Vancouver. Group members will present a draft policy before their respective boards before the UBCM convention.

“Just keep moving forward in a positive direction and respectfully, and I think we have a lot better chance of gaining the ear of government,” Grieve said, noting the opportunity for local government to offer contrary positions. “The big thing I think is to realize that when there’s shiny new bridges in the Lower Mainland they have to be paid for by the province of B.C., from all across it. It’s not too much of a stretch to realize the ferry system is like bridges, it’s part of the highway system.”

BC Ferries Commissioner Gordon Macatee, who is reviewing legislation and the Coast Ferry Act model, is expected to be in Powell River for a public meeting. The chairs hope he also visits the Valley so ferry users can voice their concerns.

reporter@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The development permit application is for the back of a property at 2522 Dunsmuir Ave. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Privacy, heritage reasons for secondary house denial in Cumberland

Majority of council wants to see something more in line with Camp Road’s character

Local governments such as Cumberland’s are calling for Ottawa to treat opioids as a public health crisis. (Black Press file photo)
Cumberland councillor motivated by family member’s drug death

Council supports resolution for Ottawa to treat narcotics as public health emergency

Comox Valley Nature hosts an online lecture Sunday, April 18, to address the human and scientific perspective on climate change. Photo supplied
Upcoming Comox Valley Nature webinar addresses climate change

Comox Valley Nature hosts an online lecture Sunday, April 18, when Dr.… Continue reading

30 years after becoming part of the YANA family, Angela Furlotte is all grown up and enjoys her three dogs while working and living in the Comox Valley.
YANA founder helps family in need: a historical account

Andrea Postal Special to The Record The first few months of Angela… Continue reading

Photo collage of loved ones lost to substance use and overdose. (Photo courtesy Moms Stop The Harm)
B.C. overdose deaths still rising 5 years after public health emergency declared

Moms Stop the Harm calls on B.C. to provide safe supply in response to deadly illicit drug use

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The following is a list of restaurants offering take-out and patio dining. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
List of Comox Valley restaurants offering take-out, patio dining options

Restaurants in the Comox Valley continue to adapt to government-imposed restrictions in… Continue reading

Demonstrators at the legislature on April 14 called on the province to decriminalize drug possession and provide widespread access to regulated safe supply across B.C. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
Rally calls for decriminalization, safe supply on 5th anniversary of overdose emergency declaration

From 2016 to the end of February, 7,072 British Columbians died due to overdose

An AAP will be used to determine if rural residents in the CVRD want a roadside garbage/recycling collection service. File photo
Roadside waste collection proposed in rural areas of Comox Valley

Pending results of the upcoming Alternate Approval Process (AAP), a rural roadside… Continue reading

(Government of Canada)
Liberal MP caught stark naked during House of Commons video conference

William Amos, in Quebec, appeared on the screens of his fellow members of Parliament completely naked

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Feb. 1, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps to 1,168 Wednesday, nearly 400 in hospital

Now 120 coronavirus patients in intensive care, six more deaths

Moss covered branches are seen in the Avatar Old Growth Forest near Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island, B.C. Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. blockades aimed at protecting old-growth forests reveal First Nation split

Two Pacheedaht chiefs say they’re ‘concerned about the increasing polarization over forestry activities’ in the territory

Richmond RCMP Chief Superintendent Will Ng said, in March, the force received a stand-out number of seven reports of incidents that appeared to have “racial undertones.” (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
‘Racially motivated’ incidents on the rise in B.C’s 4th largest city: police

Three incidents in Richmond are currently being invested as hate crimes, says RCMP Chief Superintendent Will Ng

Most Read