Haida Gwaii leaders make the case for more ferry sailings

Local councillors say they had positive talks with B.C. counterparts about adding more ferry sailings between Skidegate and Prince Rupert.

Local councillors say they have had positive talks with their B.C. counterparts about adding more ferry sailings between Skidegate and Prince Rupert.

Barry Pages, chair of the newly renamed North Coast Regional District, met three times with B.C. Transportation Minister Todd Stone at the Union of B.C. Municipalities conference in September.

“They recognize there are issues,” said Pages, who told Stone that even now, in the off-season before an expected tourism boost from the royal visit and Amazing Race Canada, it can take weeks for islanders to get a ferry.

“I just tried to make a reservation today for two weeks form now, and I’m on standby,” he said.

To the meetings with B.C.’s transportation ministry, Pages brought letters of support from Skidegate and Old Massett, plus charts prepared by village staff in Queen Charlotte that make a business case for a third Skidegate-Prince Rupert sailing from April to October.

“Our point was, ‘You guys can actually make money at this, and you’ll help our economy,’” said Queen Charlotte Mayor Greg Martin, speaking at a council meeting last week.

Martin said BC Ferries data from the last three years did not support adding sailings from November to March, so local leaders chose to focus on the most winning argument a pilot project for a third sailing in spring, summer, and fall.

“It’s not a done deal, but if we can increase the minimum number of sailings for the majority of the year to three, it’s going to do a lot not just for the people, but also for freight,” said Martin.

Other issues discussed at UBCM were funding for tsunami preparations, and support for a subsea internet cable that would make a second connection between Vancouver and Prince Rupert while also tying in Haida Gwaii.

Along with announcing the official name change of the North Coast Regional District (formerly the Skeena-Queen Charlotte Regional District), B.C. officials at the conference announced more funding for rural grants, housing, single parents, municipal transit and cycling projects, plus a commitment to repatriate First Nations artefacts at the Royal BC Museum.

Lori Wiedeman, the chief administrative officer for Queen Charlotte, said the village will also apply for new provincial and federal grants for water projects, which would cover plans for stormwater run-off and the design of a Queen Charlotte wastewater treatment plant.


Just Posted

Subsea internet cable to link up Haida Gwaii

Cable to connect Haida Gwaii, Prince Rupert, Vancouver Island, Sunshine Coast with mainland network

Tlellagraph: Sweet tips for beating the big SAD monster

By Janet Rigg Well, how are we all doing? 2018 appears to… Continue reading

Northwest economy remains uncertain

The Northern Development Initiative Trust releases its State of the North economic report

Nearly $500,000 available for internships with First Nations government

Funds announced through partnership with Northern Development and Government of Canada

Photos: Ts’aahl wins super-close Clan Tournament

Three games finished in overtime. In the semi-final, the defending Clan Tournament… Continue reading

B.C. cougar kitten rescued after mother struck by vehicle

Conservation Officers find home for young kitten found dehydrated and frostbitten near Williams Lake

Christopher Garnier appealing murder conviction in death of off-duty cop

Jury found Garnier guilty in December, rejecting his claim she died accidentally during rough sex

Transportation watchdog must revisit air passenger obesity complaint

Canadian Transportation Agency must take new look at Gabor Lukacs’ complaint against Delta Air Lines

Gas plants verdict coming down today; ex-premier’s top aides to learn fate

Verdict to be delivered on senior staff to former Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty

WestJet appeals lost bid to scrap harassment lawsuit

Airline argues judge was wrong to have dismissed the company’s application to strike the legal action

Can U.S. border guards search your phone? Yes, and here’s how

Secretary of homeland security explains a new policy that let’s border guards check phones

‘Beautiful writer’ Nancy Richler dies of cancer in Vancouver hospital

Montreal-born author spent most of her adult life in B.C. as a fiction writer and novelist

B.C. commuters vote to rename bus service to ‘Jeff’

The company asked and the people of Facebook answered

Students frustrated by UBCO response to harassment allegations

Students on the Kelowna campus were unaware of resources and worried about lack of communication

Most Read