The campaign for extended ferry service is just getting started, according to Mike Robertson. (Lakes District News file photo)

Letter — Southsiders persistent in fight for ferry

Campaigner responds to report that government is “not considering” extended ferry service

Editor:

I was surprised to see the above headline (“Government not considering extended ferry service”) on page 3 of the May 9 edition of the Lakes District News. While it was qualified by a smaller statement that the petition had not yet been sent, I believe the large, bold headline proclaimed that the campaign for extended ferry service had already failed.

I want to assure the supporters of extended ferry service that the petitions and letters that have been received will be sent out next week. This will also kick off the communication campaign to the politicians and ministries confirming the importance of extended ferry service and the overall net benefits to the region and the province.

The Francois Lake ferry has long been the glue that holds our community together and defines who we are and where we live.

In 1986, the Southside citizens mobilized and fought against Bill Vander Zalm’s initiative to impose tolls on our ferry. We won. Again, in 2001, the new Libreal government under Gordon Campbell was determined to implement a toll structure on all inland ferries in B.C. This time, hundreds of local residents banded together to resist this absurd proposition which culminated in 2002 with a huge roadblock and demonstration on Highway 16. A dedicated group of Southsiders formulated a business case entitled Two Worlds Divided By Two Miles. The report helped convince the Liberal government that the Francois Lake ferry actually was a very profitable investment for B.C., bringing in approximately $15,000 per day of royalty and tax revenue at a cost of $5,000 per day. Instead of imposing tolls on the old ferry, they decided to build a larger high-capacity vessel!

So take heart fellow residents, we are persistent bunch when we all get together. This campaign is just about to begin.

Mike Robertson

Southbank

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

Just Posted

Burns Lake sees a peaceful protest denouncing the police killing of George Floyd

Cheryl Casimir, a member of the task group for First Nations Summit… Continue reading

School buses for SD91 to start running from June 1

Parents urged to drop off and pick kids up whenever possible

COVID-19 highlights lack of connectivity in First Nations communities

Many don’t have access required to utilize online platforms, says First Nations Technology Council

Salmon closures announced for Skeena and Nass watersheds

DFO notice expands on May 21 chinook ban throughout Skeena watershed

New traffic lanes for Six Mile west of Burns Lake coming soon

Construction to begin on lane extension and traffic improvement

VIDEO: A Vancouver Island black bear takes weekend nap in eagle tree

Videos captured by Terry Eissfeldt shows the bear arriving Saturday night and sleeping in on Sunday

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Taylor Bachrach urges feds to compensate airline passengers

Letter to transport minister touches on Northwest B.C. tourism operators impacted by COVID-19

George Floyd asphyxiated by sustained pressure: family autopsy

Death sparked a wave of protests across the U.S. and abroad

COVID-19: B.C. commercial landlords can’t evict if they decline rent assistance

Emergency order ‘incentive’ for federal program, Carole James says

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Investigators probe death of CN employee at Surrey rail yard

Transportation Safety Board is investigating an ‘occurrence that took place during switching operations’

Trans Mountain starts B.C. leg of pipeline twinning project

Mostly finished in Alberta, Burnaby terminal expanding

NDP getting COVID-19 wage subsidy ‘indirectly,’ B.C. Liberal leader says

Andrew Wilkinson says he’s heard no concerns from public

Most Read