Deadline looms for ferry feedback

Local businesses are being encouraged to let their voices be heard on proposed ferry cuts before a Dec. 20 deadline.

PORT HARDY—Local businesses are being encouraged to let their voices be heard on proposed ferry cuts before a Dec. 20 deadline.

“Join me in letting BC Premier Christy Clark know how the proposed service and route reductions to ferry service will affect your family and your business,” reads a post from the mayor’s blog on the District website. “Under the current plan, BC Ferries will cut 32% of the service on route 10, shortening the tourism season by seven weeks and closing route 40 – effectively eliminating the circle route to the Cariboo Chilcotin through Bella Coola.  Already, we anticipate nearly $3 million in losses to local tourism revenue and $1.2 million to one key retailer. And that’s just the beginning. We have until Dec. 20 to let the government know how these proposed cuts will have devastating effects for rural coastal communities. BC Ferries is our highway. The government should complete a full socio-economic study before implementing the proposed route and service reductions and should look at successful models such as Washington State Ferries.”

Relevant contact information and a template letter can be found by following the link on the District’s website, www.porthardy.ca.

Last week, Port Hardy Council heard from Economic Development and Community Coordinator Patti Smedley on efforts to protest the planned cuts to Northern Routes.

“Our goal is to be annoying as possible,” Council heard.

“Hopefully wiser heads will prevail,” said Mayor Bev Parnham of the cuts.