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Coasters have chance to speak to BC Ferries about future plans Nov. 23

Nov. 23, BC Ferries will be hosting a community drop-in at the Seaside Centre in Sechelt from 6:30 to 8:30pm
BC Ferries route 3
Residents of the Coast are to have an opportunity to speak with BC Ferries about the PT6 submission and other topics on Nov. 23.

Given recent frustrations with BC Ferries, the Oct. 27 Southern Sunshine Coast Ferry Advisory Committee (SSCFAC) meeting was remarkably empty. As far as chair Diana Mumford knows, no members of the public showed up. 

After a missed ad deadline with Coast Reporter, BC Ferries outreach surrounding the meeting was limited to social media. Now, Mumford wants the message communicated on the Coast early and often: Nov. 23, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Seaside Centre in Sechelt, BC Ferries is hosting a community drop-in session. The major conversation is expected to be the Performance Term 6 and what the short and long-term plans for the ferry service are.

Public missed Oct. 27 SSCFC meeting

Mumford told Coast Reporter the lack of members of the public that tuned into the Oct. 27 online event did not come as a surprise to her because of the limited public outreach. 

When she became aware of the ad oversight mid-October, Mumford reached out to BC Ferries ahead of the committee meeting. “I told them there was no point hosting the open house portion without having it advertised,” Mumford said. During that conversation, BCF stated it had plans to do additional social media outreach to let the public know about the event. Responding to that proposal she expressed the view that “we can’t just depend on one [communication] medium to make it work."

An agreement was reached to move the open house portion to the Nov. 23 date. That allowed the SSFAC meeting to proceed on its planned date. Mumford said that was important as the terms of the local government representatives on the committee were ending.

PT6 submission an 'important topic'

Mumford said, “The Performance Term 6 (PT6) document is a big and important topic. It is really important for the community to understand and make submission on. Hopefully the open house will give people the option of asking a lot of questions.” 

Individuals can make their comments or provide input on the PT6 document on the BC Ferry Commission website.

BCF’s PT6 submission was provided to BC Ferry Commissioner this fall as information for setting price caps for all regulated routes as specified in the Coastal Ferry Services contract. It covers BCF’s operational plans between April 1, 2024 and March 31, 2028. The BC Ferry Commissioners website states that its preliminary price cap will be announced on Mar. 31, 2023 with finalization set for Sept. 30, 2023.