Ferry Committee Report to LCA AGM August 2020

LCA Ferry Committee Report 2020

Submitted for the AGM, August 22, 2020.

 

During the past year, the Ferry Committee has been busy.

As the contract for ferry service to Lasqueti Island was due to expire in 2020, the committee members proceeded to create a community survey, in order to get a better sense of how the community at large was feeling about  the current ferry service and what they would like to see going forward.  

Committee members, with the help of Andrew Fall, Dana Lepofsky, Joseph Fall, Marie-
Ange Fall as well as others, created an online survey.  Options to complete the survey manually were made available for those who did not have access to a computer.  Committee members went to the Lasqueti Market in order to engage community members further, and to encourage survey completion.  The Ferry Committee was pleased to have two hundred seventy-three completed surveys, the vast majority of which were completed online.  

All in all, this was a positive process.  The results showed that we are a somewhat divided community in terms of whether to consider changes or improvements to the ferry service.  Survey results were posted to the community in the fall of 2019.  The results were also shared with  provincial government representatives.  It is difficult to determine whether the provincial government took (or will take in the future) into consideration, any of the information.  

What we do know, is that Western Pacific Marine was awarded the new contract.  The only changes that the Ferry Committee has been made aware of, are that there is now an extra senior’s rate day on Saturdays, and we have been told that visiting school children within SD 69 will be eligible for student rates.  In addition, there  is now a defibrillator on the ferry.  We consider these to be small but helpful “wins” for the community.  A copy of the new contract has been requested through Freedom of Information, and a redacted version (due to contract protections) will likely be available for viewing in the coming weeks.

The link to the survey summary as previously shared with the community is: https://lasqueti.ca/files/lasquetiferrysurvey_2019_summary.pdf

 

Of course, we must acknowledge that the Covid 19 situation has impacted Lasqueti Island ferry travel.  The ferry is one of our vulnerable points in terms of the virus being brought to the Island, and poses many challenges to maintaining physical distancing.. 

The Ferry Committee has been working with qathet Regional Director Andrew Fall, and Emergency Coordinator, Area E Lasqueti Island, Darcy Pascall, to ensure that travel to and from Lasqueti Island are as safe as possible, in addition to following the mandated federal and provincial guidelines.  Most of us have now become accustomed to wearing masks on the ferry, and we expect that this situation will remain with us for a time.  As community members are aware, the switch from fifty percent of passenger load was changed to one hundred percent capacity a few weeks ago.  Western Pacific Marine advised the community that BC Ferries had given them permission to do so.  Dialogues continue with BC Ferries and Western Pacific Marine to ensure that our ferry services are following the required guidelines to maintain safety for the ferry crew and Lasqueti Island passengers alike. 

This news is related to...: 

Lasqueti Community Association

The LCA was established in 1971 and incorporated as a charitable organization in 1978.   The purpose of the organization is simple: “to promote community development.” An annual general meeting is held in the spring, usually early May. Anyone who either owns property on Lasqueti or has lived here for a minimum of six months may join.

Contact us at: lca [at] lasqueti [dot] ca

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