The ferry service consultation just launched by the provincial government is confusing, rushed, and missing key parts of the picture, say leaders of a group calling itself the Ferry Advisory Committee.
“Yes, it’s worth discussing the province’s two stated goals — how to save money, and a long-term vision for coastal transportation,” said Harold Swierenga of Salt Spring Island. “But there are many holes and questionable assumptions in the picture of the situation as it’s presented.”
Swierenga said the consultation doesn’t mention that fares are past the tipping point — and are part of what’s driving down traffic.
“Yet the Ferry Commission report recommended that fare increases should not exceed inflation,” he said. “To achieve this the province would have to fill up some of the hole it created over the eight years it froze the funding it gives ferry service.”
• The Department of Fisheries and Oceans this week opened a new $1.25 million National Advanced Boat Operator training facility at Bamfield on Vancouver Island’s west coast.
Training at the state-of-the-art facility will focus on the advanced, high-speed nature of marine search and rescue services from all three Coast Guard regions across Canada. It will provide experienced professionals with the opportunity to operate a twin-engine rigid-hull inflatable boat in open and confined waters under adverse conditions.
• The woman who perished when the HMS Bounty went down off the coast of North Carolina last week during Hurricane Sandy had a very special connection to the ship.
The Bounty was constructed in Nova Scotia for use in the movie Mutiny on the Bounty, which told the tale of Fletcher Christian’s revolt against the tyranical Captain Bligh. Claudene Christian was the great, great, great, great granddaughter of Fletcher Christian himself.