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Ferry Committee News

Contact: ferrycommittee@lists.lasqueti.ca

On January 27th, MLA Adam Walker and his team visited Lasqueti Island to listen to the concerns of islanders regarding ferry service. The meeting, hosted by our Regional Director, Trustees, and the LCA Ferry Committee, took place at False Bay school, accommodating both in-person and online attendance. With 50 people present in the room and 30 participating via Zoom, the meeting fostered a positive and respectful atmosphere, allowing for a diverse range of perspectives.   Also in attendance were members of the Canadian Coast Guard and a representative from Western Pacific Marine (WPM.) 

   

This is a brief synopsis of the primary concerns and questions voiced by residents.  Residents can expect a more detailed report from Adam Walker’s office in the coming weeks.

1. Safety Concerns: Residents expressed feeling uncomfortable or unsafe on the ferry, a sentiment new to many. Questions arose about the safety and maintenance of the ferry, along with concerns about crew training.

2. Accessibility Issues: A lack of appropriate access for mobility-challenged individuals was identified as a significant problem. Residents requested a Travel Assistance Program, similar to those available on regulated routes.

3. Service Schedule: Some residents advocated for a 7-day per week service to meet the needs of students, workers, and an aging population requiring increased access to medical care.  However, others were concerned that enhanced services might lead to undesirable changes on the island.

 

4. Communication and Transparency: Inconsistent and sometimes incoherent communication from WPM raised concerns. Attendees expressed a desire for more transparency and inclusion in decision-making processes.

 

5. Contractual and Operational Issues: Concerns were raised about contract violations that incur no consequences. Participants highlighted the absence of a formal mechanism to resolve issues and complaints.

 

6. Environmental Considerations: There was some consensus among attendees regarding the desire for a more environmentally-friendly ferry vessel.

7. Facility Conditions: Residents expressed a desire for toilets that consistently functioned and had handicap access.  Concern about the condition of the ferry crew’s accommodation was also raised.

    

As previously mentioned, MLA Adam Walker's team will release a summary report in the coming weeks. He will provide Lasqueti Island residents with his report and will forward it to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, BC Ferries, Western Pacific Marine, and the LCA Ferry  Committee. The report will  be made publicly available.  Mr. Walker has expressed  his commitment to continue  advocating on behalf of Lasqueti Island.

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