General · 9th February 2014
British Columbia local governments have formed a Special Committee to examine the economic significance of BC Ferries cutbacks and fare increases. The Special Committee on BC Ferries held its first meeting earlier today and adopted their Terms of Reference.
"B.C. local governments are saying it is time to take a look at how reductions in service and fare increases will impact B.C. communities", said UBCM President Rhona Martin. "Ferries play a vital role in the province-wide transportation system that is a key support for the B.C. economy. The Special Committee will be doing some fresh research on this issue, and I am inviting communities to get involved and contribute to the process."
The Special Committee has been jointly established by the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities and the Union of B.C. Municipalities, along with the Ferry Advisory Committee Chairs and Coastal Regional District Chairs. The Special Committee will oversee the work of a consultant who will conduct an analysis to estimate the economic significance of the proposed BC Ferries service reductions on communities.
The analysis is intended to include economic sectors that are impacted by BC Ferries access. This will include primary and secondary sectors, and will likely focus on tourism, retail and manufacturing. The intent is to focus on jobs and revenues as the key economic measures, with additional commentary on other impacts identified through the research. These other impacts are likely to include the discussion of the economic effects of social changes such as reduced population and restricted access to employment opportunities.
All research and analysis to be conducted in February with a draft report scheduled for late February.
The members on the Special Committee include:
Mayor Larry Cross, AVICC President
Tony Law, Co-Chair, Ferry Advisory Committee Chairs, Hornby Island Trustee, Islands Trust
Chair Colin Palmer, Coastal Regional District Chairs, Powell River Regional District
Chair Jim Abram, Coastal Regional District Chairs, Strathcona Regional District
Chair Joe Stanhope, Past President AVICC / Coastal Regional District Chairs, Nanaimo Regional District
Chair Sheila Malcolmson, Coastal Regional District Chairs/Islands Trust
Chair Art Kaehn, UBCM Community Economic Development Committee Chair, Regional District Fraser Fort George
Chair Barry Pages, Skeena Queen Charlotte Regional District
Councillor Claire Moglove, AVICC Executive, UBCM Third Vice-President, City of Campbell River
Councillor Barbara Price, Second Vice President AVICC Executive, Town of Comox
Members wishing to share information in support of the Special Committee can contact:
Marie Crawford, Associate Executive Director, UBCM
Shelley Webber, Executive Coordinator, AVICC