UPDATE: No plans to shut down Nanaimo ferry terminals, says Transport Minister

NANAIMO – While there were route cuts announced for the area last week, there aren't any immediate plans to close ferry terminals.

Note: Change of venue for Gabriola Island ferry public forum, see below.

While B.C. Ferries and the provincial government announced ferry route cuts recently, it appears none of Nanaimo’s ferry terminals will be closed.

Reductions to ferry sailings, including some for the Gabriola Island run, were announced last week and while there was talk of possible closures to either the Duke Point or Departure Bay terminals, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Todd Stone said that isn’t the case – for the time being.

“There are no plans at this point to close down either of the terminals in Nanaimo,” Stone said during a conference at the Nanaimo Port Authority office Tuesday. “What we’re committed to, which I announced a week and a half ago, was we are undertaking further analysis with B.C. Ferries on the two terminals here, as well as Horseshoe Bay and Tsawwassen.”

We’re specifically looking at Routes 2 (Departure Bay to Horseshoe Bay) and 30 (Duke Point to Tsawwassen) to determine whether or not there are opportunities there to achieve some additional savings on a go-forward basis,” Stone said.

The cuts to the Gabriola Island run included the last two sailings of the day, which some residents said would make things inconvenient, especially for people working night shifts. Affected residents will have a chance to voice their concerns and give feedback as there is another round of forums currently taking place.

“The overall objective is to save $19 million per year with the service reductions,” Stone said. “Which specific sailings are affected is certainly open for discussion. That’s why we really want to encourage feedback from coastal communities.”

The open house for Gabriola will take place Dec. 10 at Gabriola Community Hall between 5 and 8 p.m.

It was originally scheduled for The Haven, but the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure announced the change citing “anticipated high interest.”