Senior bureaucrats to hold on-island consultation on ferry fares

  • Feb. 18, 2011 9:00 a.m.

Senior bureaucrats from the Ministry of Transportation will visit the islands, possibly as early as next month, to hear what islanders think about rising ferry fares.Queen Charlotte Mayor Carol Kulesha met with Transportation Minister Shirley Bond in Vancouver last week, and asked the minister for her help, after Ferry head David Hahn projected a huge fare increase for the north. “(The minister) has promised that members of her senior team will be coming to the islands and the north to meet with people and local government,” Ms Kulesha told the Observer Tuesday. “I would hope we will be able to influence them to come to more than one community and speak to local government about the best way to get public opinion,” Ms Kulesha said. She wants islanders to let their local governments know what they think about rising fares, so they can be presented to the ministry team. Mr. Hahn recently projected a rise in ferry fares in the north by 26-percent a year over the next four years. Ferries is seeking more money, either through fares or from the government, something the independent BC Ferry Commissioner is looking into. No decision will be taken before the fall.