The BC Ferries vessel “Tachek” pulls into the ferry terminal on Cortes Island. Photo by Greg Osoba.

An independent report of the nine coastal BC Ferry Advisory Committees is calling for significant improvements by the ferry authority when it comes to public engagement and decision making. It points to weaknesses in the current format and understanding of the mandate of the committees, as well as how the ferry authority communicates and reports on issues, their resolution and how public engagement is measured.

The review began last fall and was commissioned by the BC Ferry Commission, which independently oversees the BC Ferry Authority’s operations. Its findings were made public on June 24.

A blonde haired woman in a red dress faces the camera for her portrait.

BC Ferries Commissioner Eva Hage. Image courtesy of BC Ferry Commission.

Commissioner Eva Hage says ferry dependent communities all have different needs, so improvements to operations can vary considerably. However, she feels that the level of public engagement can be enhanced, so that the Ferry Advisory Committees become directly involved in decisions made by the ferry authority on service and resources, rather than simply conveying information.

The ferry authority has until July 24 to respond to the report’s findings and recommendations. Cortes Island is a ferry dependent community served by the BC Ferries route linking it with Quadra Island.

CKTZ News gets into details with Hage in the interview below:

This program was funded by a grant from the Community Radio Fund of Canada and the Government of Canada’s Local Journalism Initiative.