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Big crowd expected for ferry cut open house on Gabriola

Summary Investigation

Gabriola Islanders are getting their say on proposed ferry service cuts.

The Community Hall is hosting the latest in a series of meetings that have already drawn hundreds of angry residents in ferry dependent communities along the coast.

Dyan Dunsmoor-Farley, Vice chair of the Gabriola Ferry Advisory committee, says the Ministry of Transportation and BC Ferries want to slash 32 sailings a week from their route, without doing any research into the impact.

“They should not be coming into communities, asking them to make these kinds of adjustments, without having any idea what the socioeconomic impact is going to be, or what the cost benefits are going to be,” she says.

Gabriolans have taken that research into their own hands to bolster their arguments.  Islands Trust Chair, and Gabriola resident, Sheila Malcolmson says people were out “in safety vests, carrying clipboards” to see who was actually using the late night and early morning sailings on the chopping block.

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766 people also took the time to fill out an online survey. Chair Steven Earle says 46% of those people said the cuts mean they’ll likely have to move.

The meeting tonight at the Gabriola Community Hall is from 5-8pm.

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