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General · 28th June 2011
Colin Palmer
The Powell River Region is holding a Rally at noon on Friday, July 8th to ensure that residents continue to pressure the Provincial Government and the Ferry Commissioner to find concrete solutions to increasing fares on the minor ferry routes while they conduct a review of the Coastal Ferry Act. Our region is inviting the other minor route communities to join us in holding rallies at the same date and time to deliver the maximum impact. Too often a majority of people start to ‘tune out’ when a government announces that it is going to conduct a review of an issue to develop solutions, and don’t engage again until the process is finished. We want to make sure that doesn’t happen with this issue as it is too important to Coastal Communities that rely on affordable service to remain economically viable and to ensure the social well being of residents. The other goal in this endeavour is to generate provincial and (if we’re lucky) national media attention as coverage of the negative impacts that ferry fares are having on coastal communities has been almost non-existent.

Here in Powell River, we have arranged to have local leaders speak at a site on the waterfront and then participants will be marching to our MLA’s office where they will hear from their MLA and place sticky notes on the front of his office with their comments and concerns. The sticky notes will be compiled into a form that will be submitted to the Minister and Ferry Commissioner. We will also have a letter that people can sign off on and add some of their own comments (see attached) which will also be presented to the Minister at the next sitting of the house in the fall and copied to the Ferry Commissioner.

It is important to note that our target in this rally is the Provincial Government, not BC Ferries. We know there are significant concerns about the service currently being provided, but the critical issue here is the affordability of the service, which is the government’s responsibility. I can tell you that our business community has really bought into this rally and are planning on shutting down over the lunch hour and sending their employees to the rally. I’ve attached a poster that we’ve made for them to use. If you have any questions or would like to discuss further how your communities can take part please contact our Manager of Economic Development, Scott Randolph at (604) 414-8598 or by e-mail at srandolphprreds.com.