Ferry regulators to hold meetings here this month

  • Aug. 8, 2011 7:00 p.m.

The top ferry regulators are coming to the islands at the end of this month. The ferry advisory committees pressured the BC Ferry Commissioner and his deputy to tour ferry-based communities. “They are doing a review of the price cap policies,” according to Evan Putterill, Area E director for the regional district. Commissioner Gord Macatee will hold meetings in Sandspit, Masset, Port Clements and Queen Charlotte. He’s travelling to Haida Gwaii by ferry, and will take the Kwuna to and from Moresby island, so he’ll get an idea about how important the ferries are to islanders. Mr. Macatee was appointed to the position in May and is touring several communities.Speaking to The Observer on Tuesday from Port Hardy on his way to Bella Bella, Mr. Macatee said he’s held two meetings so far, has had “a very positive and warm response” from those who attended, but that “to be honest, it’s still too early” to form an opinion. “I wanted to start my term by getting around to all communities that are dependent on ferries,” Mr. Macatee said.The commissioner recently approved a price increase of 6.71 percent (effective April 1), which is above the rate of inflation. Mr. Putterill said he’d like the commissioners to hear input on alternative processes for setting fair ferry fares. He’d like an analysis of what is fair to the local economy and ensuring that policies are designed around that instead of assuming that no further subsidies to BC Ferries will be in the offing. He’s looking forward to making these points at the August 28 meeting in Sandspit. Meetings will also be held in Masset and Port Clements and Queen Charlotte, all on Monday August 29, with Masset in the morning, Port in the afternoon and Charlotte in the evening. Mr. Macatee is a former deputy minister of Health. The deputy Ferry Commissioner is Shelton Stoilen, a chartered accountant. Both are appointed by the province as independent officers. They do not answer to any elected officials or the BC Ferry Authority and their decisions can not be appealed except on a question of law. The Commission regulates fares and service levels of BC Ferries. Mr. Macatee told The Observer that the ferry legislation has been in place now for eight years, and it’s “definitely time for a review”. He said he doesn’t have any direct power to roll back or set fares or change service levels, but will be making recommendations to the provincial government.More information can be found at www.bcferrycommission.com.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

CHN, province reach ‘milestone’ tree cutting agreement, reducing annual cut by 13%

Haida Gwaii Management Council has determined new allowable annual cut of 804,000 cubic metres

VIDEO: B.C. artist filmed apocalyptic timelapse on Haida Gwaii

Tasha Lavdovsky footage symbolizes sea level rise; featured in Ora Cogan music video for ‘Sleeping’

‘Haida Modern’ doc on Robert Davidson to stream online in June

Award-winning documentary will premiere on Knowledge Network June 2

Some restaurants on Haida Gwaii hosting dine-in guests again

Queen B’s, Oceanview offering limited seating; barbershop in Queen Charlotte also reopened this week

Haida Gwaii woman with intestinal mass worried elective surgeries ‘being forgotten’

With no commercial flights to YVR, Tanya Lavallee says it’s taking her too long to see a specialist

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for all Canadians, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

B.C. residents can now reserve a provincial campsite for a stay starting June 1

Campsite reservations will only be available to British Columbians

Cullen commission into money laundering in British Columbia resumes today

Inquiry was called amid growing concern that illegal cash was helping fuel real estate, luxury car and gambling

Bike shops busier than ever, but owners worry about stock supply issues

Uptick in cyclists brings new challenges for shops

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Most Read