To the Editor,
Re: Ferry crews help in medical emergencies, July 14.
This PR piece for B.C. Ferries has one totally false claim. Ferry crews have not been assembled in the middle of the night to transport residents from Gabriola for over 10 years. Once upon a time they did, but the decision was made to stop this practice, leaving the island without nighttime service. This resulted in several events.
First, a misguided group started a petition encouraging B.C. Ferries to raise fares in order to provide emergency service. B.C. Ferries, of course, raised fares, but no service was forthcoming.
Second, Gabriola taxes were raised in order to build an emergency dock so the harbour boat could be used to provide emergency service. This option was so horrendous it inspired No. 3.
Thirdly, the residents of Gabriola rallied together and independently of B.C. Ferries or the provincial government built the most beautiful clinic in B.C., which now provides excellent service to the island including a state-of-the-art helicopter pad.
B.C Ferries still doesn’t provide middle-of-the-night service.
Al StranoGabriola Island