EDITORIAL: Food and ferries

Federal election candidates on the Island should tell voters they believe the ferries are an extension of federal highway system

Some thoughts that did not quite grow up to be full editorials, stunted in their growth by a lack of research or time or both:

• Like the calvary riding over the hill in the nick of time, the Parksville and District Chamber of Commerce may have saved the day when it comes to food service in Community Park.

The chamber’s plan calls for a rotation of five trucks through the two pads built by the city. It’s an out-of-the-box plan and doesn’t exactly follow the letter of the request for proposals.

Will that be a stumbling block for city staff and councillors who must be careful, legally and otherwise, to stick to the rules of the bid process they developed?

Or can this city council think on its feet and approve the chamber’s plan at its next meeting on Monday night, the last meeting before the May long weekend?

The chamber has provided the city with an opportunity to move forward in a timely fashion with this file. The city should take the help. It was the city that bungled the timing of this plan to close the concession and build food pads and the city should count itself fortunate the chamber has stepped forward.

• Militant atheists. Medical marijuana. The hours of delay in response to a oil spill in Vancouver. While these are undoubtedly important issues for federal politicians — OK, scratch the first one — we would like to point them to another issue.

Two adults in a stardard-sized vehicle, with a reservation, for a return trip from Nanaimo to Vancouver with B.C. Ferries costs more than $200.

And it’s not like you get there in a speedy fashion, either.

If they left their residences at the same time, someone from Vernon or Kamloops, more than 350 kilometres from the Lower Mainland, will reach Vancouver long before someone from Parksville Qualicum Beach, about 80 kilometres from Vancouver.

Yes, people make a choice when they decide to live on an island. There are about 750,000 people on Vancouver Island. There are about 150,000 people living on Prince Edward Island, which has enjoyed a bridge linking it to the mainland since 1997.

The ferry system here — at least the routes linking Vancouver Island to the Lower Mainland‚ should be considered an extension of the Trans Canada Highway and get more attention (read money) from the federal government.

— Editorial by John Harding

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