Dump the Kwuna: Sandspit committee considers different ferry service

  • Apr. 11, 2014 5:00 p.m.

There’s enough discontent about the Kwuna schedule in Sandspit that the Moresby Island Management Committee is going to consider dumping the Kwuna and putting in another service, possibly similar to the tug and barge that served the route last fall. The committee met Monday evening, and talked about the new Kwuna schedule, which will operate from 7:20 am to 6:10 pm, cutting out earlier and later sailings.”BC Ferries management had the final say on the schedule and they didn’t want to follow the advice they were given. BC Ferries lacks (the) ability to deliver a schedule that works,” MIMC chair Evan Putterill said. He added that the committee should consider something other than BC Ferries operating the route. “They have made cuts and we are going to keep fighting them. The Kwuna schedule needs to be flexible and responsive to community needs,” Mr. Putterill said. Before the alternate service idea came up, committee member Carole Bowler expressed her frustration at the new schedule.”Have we just rolled over and played dead? What’s the plan? What’s the total plan?” she said, “Are we going to join together and do something bigger, like not pay property taxes? I mean everybody refusing to pay their property taxes. Do something big. That’s just an idea, but to do something to protest. Doesn’t anybody have any ideas what we can do to show the provincial government we are not happy with them? We have to be united to get anything done. We need a plan, something that shows the province we are not going to take it. I mean, if the natives can do it on Lyell IslandÂ…”Committee member Stan Hovde said Ferries “have done nothing in favour of the islands. With the Kwuna dollars, we will (be able) to have our own tug and barge.”That got the idea going of dumping the Kwuna and having an alternate service that would better serve the needs of Sandspit. “If the province is willing to pay ‘x’ dollars for 12 hours of service, why would they be unwilling to pay the same for longer service, with a different option,” Mr. Putterill said.He suggested the idea be kept simple.”Keep the same amount (as is being spent on the Kwuna) and run it ourselves. Do not use BC Ferries. We don’t need to get more money because there is lots of money there.”Mr. Putterill also said the government would look foolish if it saw that a longer service could be provided for the same or less money, and refused to allow it. In the end, the committee voted in favour of pursuing an alternate service provision model.

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