Don’t cut Kwuna sailings: community leaders

  • Jun. 30, 2010 6:00 p.m.

Rumours that Kwuna service could be reduced, leaving no connection between Graham and Moresby Islands in the evenings, are a concern to every community on Haida Gwaii. At the June 24 protocol meeting in Queen Charlotte, Sandspit representative Evan Putterill told community leaders that the Moresby Island Management Committee recently received a letter from BC Ferries confirming that it is “investigating the feasibility” of reducing service to 12 hours a day, and intends to discuss it with the local Ferry Advisory Committee. “It would be a major blow to the community,” Mr. Putterill said. “My thought here was we should focus on telling the Minister of Transportation this is not okay.” BC Ferries needs permission from the provincial government before it can change the Kwuna schedule. Queen Charlotte mayor Carol Kulesha, also a member of the Ferry Advisory Committee, said the Kwuna connection is vital even if it does lose money. “This is our road between the islands,” she said. “We do need to be able to go there in the evening and have people on Moresby Island come over.” Queen Charlotte councillor Kris Olsen pointed out that if Skidegate Inlet were fresh water instead of ocean, the ferry service would be free, as it is in BC’s interior communities. Community leaders voted to write to the transportation minister saying that Haida Gwaii is unified in support of maintaining the existing level of service on the Kwuna route.