The Denman Island ferry is indeed part of our road system.
Proposed for Denman Island is eliminating the first and last two sailings. This would make the first sailing off island at 7:20 a.m. and the last to return at 8:30 p.m. If the 6:40 sailing is cancelled, which is a commuter ferry, many people will not be able to arrive at their work on time. The 6:40 sailing connects with the 8:30 a.m. Departure Bay sailing for trips to Vancouver.
The 6:40 sailing also enables islanders to reach destinations on Vancouver Island in a timely manner. Shutting us off from the world at 8:30 p.m. would make trips off-island whether for school, business, pleasure or cultural events impossible.
This is not acceptable service.
Since Denman Island’s connecting highway is in jeopardy, reducing our ability to get off and on the island, then other ways to finance ferries need to be seriously considered.
Highway system: Truly, for me the ferry is part of a highway system. Coastal ferries should be similarly funded as bridges and highways.
Inland ferries: Inland ferries should be similarly charged as coastal ferries. Which budget provides funding for these ferries and why is there no charge?
Salary adjustment: All indications point to inflated salaries and bonuses for administration and labour force. Consider adjustments.
Ferries: Since most routes have underutilized sailings, consider smaller ferries, which would be more cost-efficient.
Employee free rides: It may be time to consider at least an employee vehicle charge. We have all lost perks.
It would have been so much more respectful to all us islanders living in small communities if consultation had taken place before the black pen was brought out and eliminated what was thought to be redundant sailings.
The sailing adjustments amount to $3.5 million per year over four years (stat from online feedback form).
The chaos and stress created over a small percentage of the overall budget ($742 million, 2013) makes me question management abilities.