Shouldn’t Denman residents resent subsidizing three Kootenay ferries?

Dear editor,

This is in response to Bruce Ellis, who discusses the “subsidization” of the “luxury service” of the Denman Island ferry.

Dear editor,

This is in response to Bruce Ellis’ letter, wherein he discusses the “subsidization” of the “luxury service” of the Denman Island ferry.

Mr. Ellis, everyone subsidizes services to others in one way or another.

My husband and I don’t have children, and yet we still pay school taxes. Thankfully, I haven’t required the services of a hospital for 35 years, but I’m sure my MSP premiums have paid for surgical procedures at St. Joseph’s Hospital. I don’t ride Skytrain in Metro Vancouver, but my taxes subsidize all those who do.

Mr. Ellis, you asked if people in Nelson have sympathy for the “$15-million subsidy Denman Island residents receive…”

I was born and raised in the West Kootenays, and still have relatives there. I can tell you that people from Nelson think that Denman Islanders are crazy to have to pay for a ferry!

Are you aware that there are two cable ferries and one non-cable ferry within 35 kilometres of Nelson and that they are free?

Glade ferry is a three-minute cable crossing operating on demand from 5 a.m. to 2:15 a.m. Harrop ferry is a five-minute cable ferry operating again on demand for 24 hours a day, and lastly Kootenay Lake ferry, which is a 35-minute non-cable crossing, operating from 6:30 a.m. to 9:40 p.m.

There are 10 sailings a day in the winter with one operating ferry, and 15 sailings a day in the summer with two operating ferries! Yes, that is correct, a free 35-minute ferry ride!

Perhaps the question should in fact be how do Denman Islanders feel about having to subsidize three ferries in the Nelson area?

Leanne Rathje,

Courtenay

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