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Letter: Ferry system is currently challenged

"Our highest priority is fixing today’s issues, particularly staffing." ~ Brian Anderson, BC Ferries
Malaspina Sky arriving at Saltery Bay Terminal.

I am writing to address some of the comments made, and information contained, in the article regarding the Charting the Course: A Vision for Coastal Ferries survey [“Northern Sunshine Coast FAC chair perplexed about survey,” November 18].

Since 2008, investments on the Northern Sunshine Coast routes amount to $190 million in upgrades to the Westview, Little River and Blubber Bay terminals and vessel replacements including the Salish class, Island class and Malaspina Sky – three of the newer ships in the fleet. As well, $27.8 million in annual subsidy funding is targeted to the Northern Sunshine Coast area to keep the service running.

At the same time, there is no question that the ferry system is currently challenged. Our highest priority is fixing today’s issues, particularly staffing. It has become clear, however, that changes in the way people are travelling, where they’re travelling, the reasons they are travelling, and where people choose to live and work, will require that we consider how these factors may impact the ferry system over a much longer horizon.

Charting the Course builds on the province’s engagement in 2020 to confirm if the themes identified then continue to reflect people’s priorities today.

Much has changed since COVID-19. Climate change is affecting the conditions under which we sail. We need a plan that factors in technology, employment and population trends to make sure the investments we make in the near term effectively serve the needs of tomorrow.

Thank you for the opportunity to provide some clarity. We encourage readers to join the conversation and take part in the survey, open through November 28, at

Brian Anderson, vice president, strategy and planning, BC Ferries

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