EDITORIAL: Ferries report might get lost in fog

The release of the BC Ferries Consultation and Engagement Summary Report completes a monumental exercise.

The release of the BC Ferries Consultation and Engagement Summary Report completes a monumental exercise involving more than 2,000 people in 30 coastal communities.

The process included opinion surveys, town halls, webinars and discussions with government officials and the broader general public from Queen Charlotte City to Victoria.

The result: an admirable public relations exercise in every way — too bad it’s unlikely to make any splash ahead of the May 14 election.

In 2009, voters in only five of the province’s 17 ridings that contain so-called ferry dependent communities elected a BC Liberal MLA.

From the NDP’s perspective, success in May is all but a done deal, especially given the BC Liberals’ ability to handicap their chances of re-election with each passing week.

Given the party’s free-fall in the polls, it’s unlikely the BC Liberals will rally behind coastal residents’ call for government subsidies for fear of losing what little of their base is left in the North, Interior and Lower Mainland.

Sadly, that leaves this latest report on the shelf beside findings from countless other well-intentioned public engagement exercises.

At least the report will be at the top of that growing pile, in easy view of whichever party is selected to govern the province for the next four years.

Although service cuts are clearly a looming reality, the report’s findings show coastal residents are open to a number of creative options with the potential to significantly reinvent the BC Ferry Services Inc. we’ve all grown accustomed to.

More than 60 per cent agreed some routes may be better served by a bridge. Nearly 80 per cent want BC Ferries to consider replacing aging vessels with ships powered by “alternative fuels” like liquefied natural gas. Approximately 66 per cent of respondents suggest the company look into the use of passenger-only vessels.

Who knows if any of these options will bring BC Ferries out of the red, but there’s always hope a newly elected government will be moved to pick up the slack.

Gulf Islands Driftwood

Just Posted

Outdoor classroom coming to Huband Park Elementary

The project has been a collaboration of various community groups, says PAC member

Marijuana to be legal in Canada Oct. 17: Trudeau

Prime Minister made the announcement during question period in the House of Commons

Public to have say about pot

Senate passes Cannabis Act

A talent in the making

Pats consider 16-year-old a leader

More than 150 tremors hit Vancouver Island in last 24 hours

Seismologists monitor to see if pressure will be added to major fault

In reversal, Trump signs executive order to stop family separation

President had been wrongly insisting he had no choice but to separate families apprehended at border

Marine trail planned for Discovery Islands

Agreements with First Nations vital for passage through traditional territories

B.C. sets deadline for Indigenous salmon farm consent

All 120 operations will need agreements by 2022, province says

Family of 4 from Oregon believed to be missing in northern B.C.

RCMP, Search and Rescue crews searching area where vehicle was abandoned

B.C. creates public registry to track real estate owners

The first registry of its kind in Canada aims to end the hidden property ownership

Polygamous wife appeals conviction in B.C. child bride case

Emily Blackmore was found guilty of taking her underage daughter to U.S. to marry church leader

Police watchdog called to Kelowna after car destroyed in crash

A motor vehicle incident has closed Highway 33 in both directions

BC SPCA receives 400 reports of dogs in hot cars so far this year

Society is again urging people to leave their pets at home if they can’t keep them safe in the heat

8 B.C. communities rank as the friendliest in Canada

Eight B.C. communities can claim they are the friendliest in the country.

Most Read