Ferry is essential to the Southside

Ferry is essential to the Southside


As a Southsider for over 40 years, I’ve come to appreciate deeply the social, public safety and economic significance the Francois Lake ferry has to our community and to our region.

The Cheslatta Carrier Nation, as one of the largest employers in the area relies entirely on the ferry for its businesses, employees, shipping and receiving, raw materials, fuel and supplies, not to mention the social and personal support the ferry provides. Other Southside businesses, operations and households will likely confirm the same.

First of all, I want to acknowledge the fact that there are wage and other issues between the union members and the contractor that owns the ferry. I support an open and progressive process that can address these issues in an expeditious and fair way that will achieve acceptable results without affecting the overall safety or livelihoods of Southsiders. We depend on the ferry crew, who are long time residents, friends and relations, and who are dedicated and responsible for maintaining and coordinating the scheduled ferry service that we base our business and personal lives on.

If labour action were to take place, Southsiders would have two alternative routes to our regular service centre of Burns Lake, currently 25 kilometres from the Southbank landing.

East – Binta Forest Service Road (FSR) network. One hundred and fifty-five km, two hours and 35 minutes to Burns Lake. Route: Poorly marked, radio assisted route, a series of seasonal FSRs heavily used by active logging vehicles. Cars or single occupant vehicles are not recommended. Not safe for travel especially at night. Mostly no cell or internet service. Absolutely not a safe, dependable or viable route.

West – Ootsa/Nadina and Colleymount network. One hundred and fifty-nine km, two hours and 27 minutes to Burns Lake. Route: predominately seasonal gravel roads heavily used by active logging vehicles. Colleymount Road is unsafe. Not recommended for light vehicles or single drivers. No cell or internet service for the majority of the route. Absolutely not a safe, dependable or viable route.

In closing, it is only common sense to realize that if you burn your only bridge, your community will wither and die. We need a legislated guarantee that our bridge is designated an essential service and to allow us Southsiders to continue to do our part in contributing to the social and economic fabric of British Columbia. This is our essential service we are happy to perform, as always, each and every day.


Mike M. Robertson

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The COVID-19 outbreak at the two Coastal GasLink workforce lodges has officially been declared over. (Lakes District News file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak at Coastal GasLink worksites declared over

In total, 56 cases were associated with the outbreak in the Burns Lake and Nechako LHAs

Brett Alexander Jones is wanted on several warrants province-wide, in connection with multiple charges. Jan. 21, 2021. Kitimat RCMP photo
Kitimat RCMP searching for man wanted on several warrants province-wide

Jones is described as a five-foot 10-inches Caucasian man, with blond hair and blue eyes.

Lake Babine Nation closure sign
Lake Babine Nation issues COVID numbers update

Urges members to follow provincial health orders

NH representative confirmed that people who received their first dose will be scheduled to receive their second dose within the recommended timeframe.(The Canadian Press/Nathan Denette photo)
Vaccine rollout abruptly halted in Lakes District

Northern Health cites Pfizer shipment delays for the vaccine distribution disruption

Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021 is International Lego Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 24 to 30

Lego Day, Talk Like a Grizzled Prospector Day and Puzzle Day are all coming up this week

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Black Press Media File)
Drowning death in North Saanich likely B.C.’s first in for 2021

Investigation into suspected drowning Monday night continues

Kimberly Proctor, 18, was murdered in 2010. Her family has spent many of the years since pushing for a law in her honour, that they say would help to prevent similar tragedies. (Courtesy of Jo-Anne Landolt)
Proposed law honouring murdered B.C. teen at a standstill, lacks government support

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions has concerns with involuntary detainment portion of act

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a daily briefing in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)
31 cases of COVID-19 variants detected in Canada: Health officials

Dr. Theresa Tam made announces 13 more variant COVID-19 cases in Canada

Daily COVID-19 cases reported to each B.C. health region, to Jan. 20, 2021. Island Health in blue, Northern Health green, Interior Health orange, Vancouver Coastal in red and Fraser Health in purple. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays stable with 508 cases Friday

Vaccine delivered to more than 110,000 high-risk people

The District of Saanich’s communications team decided to take part in a viral trend on Thursday and photoshopped U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders into a staff meeting photo. (District of Saanich/Twitter)
Bernie Sanders makes guest appearance municipal staff meeting in B.C.

Vancouver Island firefighters jump on viral trend of photoshopped U.S. senator

School District 57 headquarters in Prince George. (Mark Nielsen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter)
Prince George school district settles with sexual abuse victim

Terms were part of an out-of-court settlement reached with Michael Bruneau, nearly four years after he filed a lawsuit

Most Read