Momentum building against ferry cuts

  • Dec. 18, 2013 6:00 a.m.

The Moresby Island Management Committee’s social media advertising campaign opposing Ferries’ service cuts is part of a bigger movement, according to MIMC chair Evan Putterill. “I’ve noticed opposition momentum across the coast is building. It’s not related to this page individually, but it’s a result of a lot of small efforts like this one coming together. People seem to be mobilizing, and it’s great,” he said. The small ads read, “Fight Ferry Service Cuts: BC Gov’t Plans to Slash Ferry Services to Haida Gwaii. Join our campaign to fight the cuts,” and Mr. Putterill said they can be seen in the top right hand corner of a person’s Facebook new feed until at least Dec. 20. To date, about 1,500 islanders have had MIMC’s ads broadcast to them. Of those who’ve seen them, about 150 people have gone to the site, said Mr. Putterill. The “North & Central Coast Against Ferry Service Cuts” group has 790 members, but Mr. Putterill says it continues to grow each day. He said group content includes information packages, government contact addresses, petitions, videos and discussion. “I think it’s successful. I’m happy. But, I’d be more happy if people were more active in the group. It’s a place for discussion and it allows the issue to stay in peoples’ news feeds. It’s a reminder,” said Mr. Putterill. Recently, a video called ‘I Live Here’ was posted to the group Facebook page. It features messages from coastal community residents who’ll be effected by the cuts; specifically, students, commuters, shift workers, local businesses, young people, communities, and families. Mr. Putterill said MIMC staff are getting in contact with the video’s producers, Jules Molloy and Chloe Straw of Close to the Sun Productions. They want to get advice and information in preparation for making a video with a Haida Gwaii outlook. “It’s a great format and we’re hoping we can pull a video together. MIMC hasn’t got the resources to take that on, but if we could find someone who could do it, we would support that,” he said. The social media advertising has cost MIMC about $230 for two campaigns. Earlier, it was involved in another related campaign which directed about 400 people to ferry committee chairs’ press releases.