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The BC Ferries plan to decrease ferry services will have economic impact

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Compiled by Debora Steel







The BC Ferries plan to decrease its northern ferry services in April 2014  will have serious economic impacts on the Heiltsuk Nation, said Chief Marilyn Slett. The Heiltsuk Tribal Council Chief Councillor said ferry service is a life line for those who live on B.C.’s coast. “What BC Ferries is proposing is equivalent to cutting off a major highway in the Lower Mainland and the people living there wouldn’t allow it to happen.” Local businesses will suffer, costs related to using ferries will likely increase while services are reduced, already high food prices will increase and community members who need access to health services will be negatively impacted, Slett said. “Instead of proposing cuts we should be working together to find solutions that don’t unduly impact northern routes. We should be talking about how ferry services can support and grow coastal communities.” Slett questions the legitimacy of the BC Ferries small group meeting in Bella Bella on Nov. 23. “This “engagement”’ process is a sham. If BC Ferries is serious about making decisions “based on an affordable, efficient and sustainable system which protects basic service to coastal communities for future generations” then it should be working with us to find a solution and not coming into our community telling us what kind of cuts we’re going to face.”