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General · 27th July 2011
Jim Abram
Ferry Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner to hold public meeting on Quadra Island Sep 26th at 7pm

This is your chance, Quadra Island, outer islands and Cortes Island! If you don't show up for this meeting then you are missing your prime opportunity to get BC Ferries back into the Ministry of Transportation and Highways, scrap the Coastal Ferry Act, get rid of the Board of Directors, the outrageously over-paid management, and even the Commissioner (with no disrespect intended to the commissioner). THIS IS YOUR CHANCE! Cancel all other plans and meetings and be there. The Community Centre needs to be standing room only. This is the man that will encourage the Minister to lower our ferry rates and get ferries back under the wing of Transportation and Highways. You are the people, here at home, who will convince him that all of the above is the right way to go!

I will be meeting with the Commissioner on August 8th in Victoria, along with nine other Regional District Chairs, representing about 63% of the population of BC. It will be a special meeting to discuss all of the above items that I have mentioned. After that, our group of Chairs will be having a special meeting with the Premier, Christy Clark, and Minister Blair Lekstrom while at the UBCM convention in Vancouver. We will also be putting forward an Emergency Resolution to the 2,000 delegates at the convention asking for the ferry system to be part of the highways system.

I will be at the UBCM convention on the night of the meeting on Quadra with the Commissioner, so unfortunately will not be able to attend. What I am asking in my absence is for islanders to show the Commissioner, and consequently the Minister, that we have had enough. We as a community are dying, as are other coastal communities. We can no longer allow this failed experiment to continue. We are losing families and businesses are struggling and closing.

He needs to hear that if the ferry system was treated just as the rest of the highway system, such as all of the roads in BC, all of the major bridges in BC, all of the inland fresh water ferries, the West Coast Express, the Canada Line and the Sky Train, then we would realize huge savings by eliminating:
1) the Board of Directors of BC Ferries
2) the outrageously overpaid executive (David Hahn et al)
3) the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner
4) the entire bureaucracy developed over time around BC Ferries
5) administrative buildings specific to BC Ferries
6) the Coastal Ferry Act and the administration thereof.

I have to ask myself, why would we need any of the above if the ferries were back under the wing of the Ministry of Transportation and Highways? The highway system in BC does not have a Board of directors. It does not have an Executive to run it. It does not have a Commissioner, a Coastal Ferry Act, mega-offices and bureaucracy to look after it. SO WHY NOT ELIMINATE ALL OF THE WASTE!!!
These are the things that the Commissioner will be wanting to hear about. These are the things that need to be stressed along with real life facts about how the fares and the Coastal Ferry act have impacted our communities.

I will be there with you in spirit and am placing my faith in this community to do a really good job of representing us to the powers that be. This is our chance, and I ask you to PLEASE make every effort to make this a good showing. I will be representing you to the highest levels of government on this issue. I only ask that you do us proud by representing us on your own, with your own stories and your own facts, here at home, in my absence. Let's put 500 people into our Community Centre to drive these points home!

With the greatest respect for my community,
Jim Abram
Director, Area C
Perhaps a ferry ride home after the meeting?
Comment by Gypsy Mama on 30th July 2011
Hi Jim,
How wonderful to be invited to this meeting on Quadra. As much as we would love to come over from Cortes, part of the challenge is getting home after the meeting.
Do you think we could convince BC Ferries to provide us with a special run to Cortes after the meeting ends? Actually that reminds me, I've always wondered why we don't have a late night weekend run to Cortes like there is from Campbell River to Quadra. (And why do we have to pay long distance to phone between our islands? Of course I realize that involves Telus not BC Ferries.)

If not (an after meeting ferry), can we bring our sleeping bags over and have a sleep over in the Community Centre?
Love always,
Gypsy Mama