Mar 9, 2013 / 12:09 pm
The Coastal Ferries Consultation and Engagement summary report was released March 5, summarizing the input received during an eight-week public consultation process conducted in fall 2012.
The consultation and engagement provided information to British Columbians on the challenges facing the coastal ferry system. The process sought public input on the principles to guide service adjustment decisions and strategies to further the Province's long-term vision for the ferry system.
Over the eight weeks, senior ministry staff hosted 40 public consultation meetings in 30 communities, along with one webinar. More than 2,000 people attended the public meetings and almost 2,000 feedback forms and written submissions were received. The strong public response clearly reflects how much people value the coastal ferry service.
"I would like to thank all those who took the time to participate in the consultation process,” said Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Mary Polak.
“The high level of participation in this process reflects the importance the people of B.C. attach to the coastal ferry system. We will carefully consider this report and take some time to determine how best to move forward to ensure that coastal communities are connected in an affordable, efficient and sustainable manner."
Given the volume and detail of comments received during the consultation, government will take the time necessary to thoroughly review the feedback and develop a plan for service adjustments to achieve $26 million in savings to 2016.
The government initiated the consultation and engagement following the review of the Coastal Ferry Act by the independent BC ferry commissioner. The commissioner raised the need for a long-term vision and indicated that all parties - BC Ferries, ferry users and the Province - need to contribute to ensure the sustainability of the system.
In response to the commissioner's review, the government committed an additional $79.5 million to 2016 to reduce pressure on fares, bringing B.C. taxpayer funding to more than $180 million this year.
There will be further consultations before any specific service reductions are implemented.
A copy of the Coastal Ferries Consultation Summary report is available here.
Read more BC News
- Hydro project to go ahead in northern BC
- Pickton victims' families skeptical
- Coroners warn of water danger
- RCMP surround Langley home
- Beware of counterfeit polymer $100's
- Cowichan to close six middle schools
- Tips for staying safe this long weekend
- Body recovered at Golden Ears Park
- Body recovered from creek
- Fire prohibitions start today
- Elections BC: don't tweet on election day
- Fire fighters aided by rain, cool temps
(Click for RSS instructions.)