BC Ferries ponders Kwuna changes

  • Sep. 17, 2007 6:00 a.m.

BC Ferries is looking at the possibility of moving the Kwuna’s home port to Skidegate Landing rather than Alliford Bay. BC Ferries spokesperson Deborah Marshall said the corporation has thought about moving the home port in the past, and is considering it again because it’s having problems finding qualified workers. “If we had better employee accommodation. we might be able to attract more employees,” she said. BC Ferries executives are still researching the idea and have not made a decision, Ms Marshall said. But some Sandspit residents don’t think moving the Kwuna from Moresby Island is a good idea at all. At last week’s Moresby Island Management Committee meeting, Carole Bowler pointed out that Sandspit relies on the Kwuna to respond to emergencies, like taking someone to hospital by ambulance in the middle of the night. If the home port were at Skidegate, the response time would be significantly longer. The Sandspit representatives are also worried that BC Ferries might cut back on the number of sailings once the current Kwuna schedule expires on March 31. Right now the ferry makes its first trip from Alliford Bay at 7 am, making 12 round trips every day until its last sailing from Skidegate Landing at 10:30 pm. The journey between Moresby and Graham Islands takes about 20 minutes. Ms Marshall said no decisions have been made about changing the Kwuna’s schedule. However, schedule changes are possible, she said. For example, if the home port changes, the schedule would also have to change. BC Ferries will consult the public and its advisory committee before making any cuts to the schedule, she said.