Haida Gwaii Residents Asked To Give Feedback On Ferry Service

Local governments on Haida Gwaii are asking residents to give their input on ferry service.

Village of Queen Charlotte CAO Lori Weideman says the survey is looking to gather information on improvements that could be made.

The information will be complied and then presented to provincial officials at a meeting during the Union of British Columbia Municipalities.

Weideman says one improvement that passengers are looking for is pet access while sailings are taking place.

"It's a 6-8 hour ferry rides on one of the most dangerous bodies of water in the world, the Hecate Strait. The vehicle access is very restricted. If you have pets down on the vehicle deck, getting down to see them, interact with them or just check on them is very difficult."

Weideman says the survey is looking at two routes.

"There's the service between Queen Charlotte and Prince Rupert, but there's the inter-island route between Sandspit and Queen Charlotte. It's really their life line to get over to services like the hospital, medical, dental. Kids also take part in after school programs and all sorts of things. For the community of Sandspit, the change in schedule has been very crippling. So we're highlighting some of those concerns as well."

Weideman says their goal is to present the province reasonable solutions.

"Let's stop complaining to each other. Let's complain to where it can do some good. We've got this great opportunity with the NDP and Greens coming in. The NDP has been pretty clear they're supportive of ferry dependent communities like ours. We're waiting to see what that's going to look like on the ground.  We want to go in with some really constructive ideas and not just being negative saying things aren't great."

Over 600 responses have been given so far. Weideman is encouraging residents to fill-out the survey that's expected to be open through the beginning of September. The UBCM conference happens at the end of next month.

The survey can be found here: