- Our Town
Mayor seeks more constructive conversation on ferries
Since BC Ferries announced its latest round of “consultations”, Mayor Jack Adelaar has not shied away from expressing his lack of faith and outright anger at the process. Adelaar even advocated that Bowen representatives not attend the most recent meeting between BC Ferries and the Transportation Advisory Committees. While other council members disagreed, when it comes to his personal action on the ferries issue, Adelaar is forging his own path and stands firm in his refusal to talk to BC Ferries.
“When I look at Mayor Robertson, or Mayor Watts [of Surrey], and the way they approach transportation issues, they don’t look to the province to solve their problems,” says Adelaar. “They look to the federal government for funding.”
Several weeks ago, Mayor Adelaar joined mayors from Squamish and the Sunshine Coast in a teleconference with MP John Weston and the federal minister of Transportation, Lisa Raitt, and discussed the ferry cuts at length.
“John Weston has been incredibly supportive,” says Adelaar. “Transport Canada regulates safety issues on ferries, and also gives money to the Province of British Columbia for highways. Historically, the ferry system has been considered a part of the highway system. In that, I think we can find leverage.”
Adelaar says MLA Jordan Sturdy has been very supportive of the idea of home-porting the Queen of Capilano on Bowen as an cost-saving alternative to cutting sailings.
“The savings would be far more than the $270,000 the province is looking for on our route, but there are some questions that need to be answered about how it would work. I think once we have those answers Sturdy can really push the idea on our behalf.”
Adelaar says he also has a conversation lined up with provincial Transportation Minister Todd Stone in the coming weeks.
“I had the chance to meet him at an event where he was speaking about TransLink,” says Adelaar. “He seemed like a decent guy, actually, and I get the feeling that he’s been talking to Jordan Sturdy about the situation in our region, and with Bowen in particular. The province needs to know that Bowen’s situation is unique in that 60 percent of our ferry usage is commuter traffic.”
Bowen’s unique situation is something that Adelaar says he has also been discussing with Greg Moore, the chair of the Metro Vancouver Board of Directors.
“Moore’s going to be talking with the Ministry of Transportation in the next few weeks. We are a part of Metro Vancouver, so he has an obligation to advocate for us.”
Adelaar says that when he talks about ferries he is focused on maintaining a stable and consistent ferry service to and from Bowen, and he stands by his belief that talking to BC Ferries is a waste of time.
“When BIMTAC [Bowen Island Transportation Advisory Committee] talks to BC Ferries, they’re talking to the VP of Public Relations, and I can guarantee, that is not going to move us forward.”