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Campbell River city council backs BC Ferries move away from fossil fuels

‘I would like to see … BC Ferries move towards a far more sustainable form of transit’
The Island Aurora, a new hybrid-electric vessel built in Romania joined the BC Ferries fleet last year. Photo courtesy BC Ferries

Campbell River city council is backing BC Ferries’ plan to go electric.

In a letter to council dated Jan. 14, David Hendry, director of strategic planning and community engagement with BC Ferries, requested a letter of support from the City of Campbell River to help in its funding application to the federal government that would see the corporation move away from fossil fuels on six of its Island Class ferries and 18 of its coastal terminals.

“BC Ferries has embarked on the exciting pathway to ferry electrification that marks a major step in our long-term emissions reduction strategy that aims to transition the fleet away from fossil fuels and reduce GHG emissions,” Hendry writes. “We have begun the detailed vessel and terminal design process required to fully electrify our Island Class vessels and the terminals they connect.”

Hendry says the project will reduce 18,000 tonnes of GHG emissions in the first phase, along with other environmental benefits like reduced underwater noise that is unhealthy for marine mammals, as well as “helping create post-pandemic economic stimulus for smaller coastal communities.”

Council is throwing its support behind the project.

“At the last AVICC convention … BC Ferries gave an excellent presentation on the future of the BC Ferries system, and especially electric ferries and low-carbon-footprint mass transportation of vehicles, goods and people,” says Coun. Charlie Cornfield. “I think this deserves our support and I would like to see – and I’m certain other people in the province would like to see – BC Ferries move towards a far more sustainable form of transit.”

Cornfield also says they should always be in favour of helping secure federal funding for the ferry system on the coast.

“Anytime we can get federal funding to support our ferry system, which, in my opinion, is part of the Trans-Canada Highway, putting us in a more comparable footing with Eastern Canada, I will push for that 100 per cent.”

The motion passed unanimously.

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