BC Ferry Services Inc. is continuing discussions with the provincial government about how much money the government is prepared to contribute towards new ferries for the northern routes.
Gordon Nettleton, manager of northern services, said that as soon as BC Ferries has this crucial piece of information, it will be coming to coastal communities to explain what’s up with the new ferries and get feedback about what’s important locally.
For example, he said, BC Ferries is already aware that Prince Rupert would like to see daily service, and that islanders want to retain Thursday night sailings to the mainland and Sunday returns.
Building new ferries is not cheap, and it also takes three to four years, Captain Nettleton said. That means decisions will have to be made well before 2010, when the Queen of Prince Rupert and Queen of the North become obsolete.
Meanwhile, the Queen of Prince Rupert is undergoing repairs and renovations and will be back in service by May 15, Captain Nettleton said. The ship is getting a new exterior paint job, and will have a few inside changes as well, like new seating and new curtains.
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