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Province steps in to prevent dropped sailings between Alliford Bay, Skidegate

B.C. government announces $180,000 in new funding for BC Ferries to continue service
FILE - A ferry pulls up to the Skidegate Landing terminal. BC Ferries is again adjusting the schedule on the Alliford Bay to Skidegate route, this time effective Friday, June 19, 2020. (Haida Gwaii Observer file photo)

BC Ferries’ decision to drop some sailings between Alliford Bay and Skidegate was only in effect for a few days, thanks to new funding from the provincial government.

In a service notice on Thursday (June 18), the ferry corporation announced the two sailings in question — the 12:30 p.m. sailing from Alliford Bay and the 1 p.m. sailing from Skidegate — would be reinstated the next day.

A June 12 service notice from the company had announced the sailings would be removed from the schedule, effective June 16.

ALSO READ: BC Ferries removing some sailings between Skidegate and Alliford Bay

In an emailed statement, a spokesperson for B.C.’s transportation ministry confirmed $180,000 will be paid to BC Ferries by the B.C. goverment to continue service on the route between Moresby Island and Graham Island through to Labour Day, as well as on 10 other routes throughout the province that had sailings removed.

Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Clare Trevena said she was pleased the immediate, proposed service reductions will not proceed and the current routes will remain in place through the summer.

”Ferries are an essential service and a key part to the needs of our coastal communities,” Travena said. “We are already seeing ferry ridership begin to grow, and [BC] Ferries should be in a position to respond to this demand.”

ALSO READ: BC Ferries losing up to $1.5 million each day as pandemic tanks ridership

BC Ferries spokesperson Deborah Marshall told the Observer the company had “made the tough decision to reduce discretionary sailings on some minor routes” because it has been losing “nearly a million dollars a day with the pandemic.”

Marshall also thanked the Province for funding the discretionary sailings.

“This is great news for the communities we serve,” she said.

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