Recognition but no action on Quadra ferry issues

Premier Christy Clark is acknowledging that the issue of proposed BC Ferries sailing cuts are “of great importance” to Quadra Island but she is not promising any action, according to a letter she wrote to the Strathcona Regional District.

Clark’s letter, dated Dec. 17, came in response to correspondence from the regional district that was sent to Clark and Transportation Minister Todd Stone.

The regional district’s letter was written under Chair Jim Abram’s (Quadra Island director) name on behalf of the board, explaining that the regional board passed a resolution at its Dec. 17 meeting to support the position of the Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM).

The union has passed a resolution insisting that the B.C. Liberal government “rejects any recommendations, and abandons any plans, to increase ferry fares and/or reduce core ferry service levels.”

The resolution further states that the UBC continue to lobby the government to implement legislation that would recognize B.C. Ferries services as part of the public highway system.

Clark wrote in her reply to the board that the regional district’s letter would be included as part of the community engagement and feedback process regarding ferry services.

In her two paragraph letter, she also thanked the board for its input.

“I know that the issue is of great importance to your community and I appreciate receiving notice of your board’s resolution,” Clark wrote.

Quadra Islanders showed just how important the issue is during a public engagement meeting hosted Dec. 9 by BC Ferries and the provincial government at the Quadra community centre.

Roughly 500 people showed up at the meeting, which quickly became standing room only, to protest plans to cut the last sailing of the day – and the last two on weekends – on each side of the Campbell River-Quadra Island route.

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