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General · 17th February 2014
Michael Stahnke
Our community is coming together in unified opposition to the proposed fare increases and service cuts with resolve that is admirable and remarkable. Generous donations from Islanders have made it possible to greatly reduce bus ticket prices, provide more buses, and are making it possible for organizers to develop a real kick-ass demonstration.

The most essential element for this demonstration to be what it needs to be –
a resounding show of opposition and defiance to those who are bent on creating greater challenges for our Discovery Islands community and all coastal communities - is a big crowd. We need to be there.

The December consultation, attended by well over 500 people, was a ruse and an insult. The government knew well in advance what they intended to do. Coming here was, as everybody knows, the sham to legitimize their intentions. The insult was that they knew we knew and they didn’t care.

That was the best meeting ever on this Island. Some people would argue that “we lost “. I don’t think so. We got angry, and I hope we still are. That’s what we need, that’s what will cause people to pay attention. That’s why we’re going to Victoria, that’s why we need each other to be there. We’re fed up and we’re not going to take it anymore.

Tickets for the bus will be available starting this Wednesday, February 19th, and can be had for a donation of $10 or more. Tickets will be available at Hummingbird, Heidi’s Java Bay Cafe, and at the community lunch. Bus riders must be at the Cove terminal at 6:00 am – walk on the ferry, and board the buses in Campbell River. The protest will start when we get to Victoria and runs until 1:30. We will be back for the 6:15 sailing. People driving to the Cove please carpool. Thanks to the Harbour Authority parking will be free for people riding the buses. Cortes and Read Island residents please join us.

Donations other than for bus tickets are still being accepted. They can be made to the Ferry Demonstration account at the credit union, or to me, Pat Lowes, Gloria Rolfsen, or Susan Westren.

We have three comfortable coach buses available and we need to fill them. When they are full we will get another and we will also arrange carpools. We’ve got momentum, we’ve got pride and we’ve got a crisis which we must address. More than 500 people were at the Consultation Meeting . March 11 is a work day, unfortunately some people can’t come with us. For those of us who can go, please make the effort, we need each other. Tell the government to stop the cuts, reduce the fares and return the ferry service to the department of highways. We will not quit, this is our home.

Michael Stahnke 2830