Nanaimo partners with port authority on foot ferry project

NANAIMO – City announced support for a joint request for proposal process with the port authority to look for a passenger ferry service.

The City of Nanaimo will join the search for passenger ferry operators, despite an earlier agreement with Island Ferries.

Nanaimo Port Authority and the city will team up on a request for proposals for a foot-passenger ferry between Nanaimo and Vancouver.

The decision comes two weeks after the port authority announced it would seek foot ferry proposals, recognizing there was community demand for the service and other potential operators than Island Ferries. Island Ferries’ lease to use city property for its catamarans has also expired.

According to Tracy Samra, interim city manager, the port board and city council met Monday and key in the decision to join forces was the acknowledgment that neither party will succeed in isolation.

Bernie Dumas, president and CEO of the Nanaimo Port Authority, called the partnership essential in finding a quality operator and said it’s a good direction to go to see if the service can get going sooner than later.

It’s been five years and Island Ferries is still trying to get its financial package in play, said Dumas, who notes the port is ‘very sensitive’ to the company’s plight and the company will have an equal opportunity to participate in the RFP process.

“It’s a difficult decision, but for us we felt that the community is pushing and wanting the service earlier than later and there’s other companies out there who perhaps have all their finance and operational things in play,” he said. “I know [Island Ferries] are upset but basically we can’t wait forever.”

Island Ferries spokesman David Marshall, who expressed disappointment in the port’s earlier announcement, said this joint RFP still puts its work in jeopardy. The company has been working closely with a final investor for a number of weeks, which the port and city were aware of, he said.

But he also said the company respects the city’s decision and plans to look at the RFP.

The city and port authority will discuss a location for the ferry service and reach out to other communities, like Parksville and Duncan, to discuss the service.

Just Posted

UPDATE: Suspect and Mountie bitten by police dog during arrest south of Nanaimo

Two suspects were arrested in connection with a stolen pickup truck in Cassidy on Thursday evening

City to re-name community policing office and keep it open

Council votes 6-2 for city to maintain a presence at Victoria Crescent office

Nanaimo RCMP seek help finding missing Nanaimo boy

Chaas Mearns, 13, was reported missing Jan. 30

Construction set to begin on Nanaimo airport terminal expansion

First phase of construction project to begin in March or April

Duncan family says care home switched mom’s cat with robot cat

Staff alleged to have said they were taking cat for bath, then replaced her with robotic stuffed toy

VIDEO: Buccaneers double up Generals to win Game 2

Nanaimo now leads the best-of-seven series against Oceanside two games to none

Beefs & Bouquets, Feb. 22

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail bulletinboard@nanaimobulletin.com

More snow forecast to fall Friday on Vancouver Island

Environment Canada calling for 2-10 centimetres on the east coast of the Island and areas inland

VIDEO: Buccaneers double up Generals to win Game 2

Nanaimo now leads the best-of-seven series against Oceanside two games to none

Indigenous elders share history with Nanaimo-Ladysmith School District students

‘Our kids learning their history through elders is nothing that we can find in our textbooks’

UPDATE: One driver taken to hospital after three-vehicle collision in Harewood

Accident happened at Howard Avenue and Seventh Street at about 9:30 a.m.

B.C. ski cross racer wins Olympic gold

Kelowna’s Kelsey Serwa wins the gold medal in thrilling fashion in PyeongChang

New charges against ex-Trump campaign associates

More charges were laid Thursday against President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman and his business associate

Man accused in death of Winnipeg teen Tina Fontaine not guilty

Raymond Cormier was accused of killing Indigenous 15-year-old and dumping her body in the Red River

Most Read