Ferry-dependent communities protest cuts
Plans to stage a massive protest on January 18 against the provincial government’s cuts to BC Ferries service have prompted City of Powell River Mayor Dave Formosa to inquire whether there is anyone willing to organize a local demonstration of involvement here.
Only two days after emailing a general call to action under the banner of the BC Ferry Coalition, Jef Keighley said he was “flooded” with responses from ferry-dependent communities—and some were already expressing interest in holding protests of their own on the same day.
Among the first to indicate interest were Powell River, Gabriola Island, Galiano Island and the North Coast.
“I think people are welcoming the initiative,” said Keighley, chair of Sunshine Coast Senior Citizens. “People recognize the need to have a common voice and a common presence. I think we’re going to see substantial buy-in.”
“We’re definitely onside,” confirmed Formosa. “I think we’re going to try to find someone who will take it on and organize the community.”
Formosa said Powell River will be “hammered” if the announced service cuts are implemented in April.
“We’ve already got people who are putting their houses up for sale,” he said. “We can’t exist. If this happens, all of our sports teams are done.”
Twenty-one chambers of commerce from coastal communities have agreed to join Powell River’s fiscal fairness campaign.
~ With files from John Gleeson, Coast Reporter