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.
“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.