B.C. budget committee calls for more Haida Gwaii ferry sailings

B.C. budget committee calls for more Haida Gwaii ferry sailings

A special committee of B.C. MLAs wants the province to fund more sailings for both Haida Gwaii ferry routes.

Dozens of islanders wrote or spoke directly with members of the all-party finance committee, which stopped in Old Massett and 15 other communities this fall before releasing a report with 100 recommendations for the 2019 B.C. budget.

Recommendation #97 says the province should fund an expanded ferry service for ferry-dependent communities, including the Alliford Bay and Haida Gwaii-Prince Rupert routes.

Related: B.C. premier, ministers hear calls for more Kwuna sailings

“Thank you Haida Gwaii!” wrote Joni Fraser, a long-time Sandspit resident who reacted to the Nov. 15 report after leading a grassroots Facebook campaign calling for a reversal of the 2014 Haida Gwaii ferry cuts.

Fraser was quick to point out the next steps in the lobby effort — emailing local MLA Jennifer Rice to underline the importance of a restored ferry service so that she in turn can ask the Minister of Finance to make the funding available.

“There are a lot of recommendations for a finite amount of tax dollars,” Fraser said.

Among the other recommendations made by the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services is a call for discounted ferry tickets for kindergarten to Grade 12 students travelling as a class, club, or sports team.

FGS 2018-11-15 Budget2019Consultation Report Web by Haida Gwaii Observer on Scribd