BC Ferries holding community of Sechelt on November 23

Who will be there? What will it be about? Here’s everything we know.

Would you like BC Ferries (BCF) to address your concerns at its November 23 event at Sechelt’s Seaside Centre? Submit them in writing, beforehand, on the BCF website Sunshine South Coast Community Pagerecommends BCF’s director of corporate communications, Astrid Chang.

In online searches for how to effectively formulate complaints or suggestions for improvements, “putting it in writing” tops many of these lists. Other advice on how to convey your views to decision-makers provided on the Office of Consumer Affairs of Canada “Complaint Roadmap” include “provide specific details”, “go to the right place”, and “follow up”.

A review of the Coast Journalistit is recent letters to the editor and posts on ferry-related social media sites are no shortage of local issues with BCF services. While there is no guarantee that submissions to the next BCF session will influence change or produce results when it comes to ferry service on coastal routes, here are more details about the event to help to make decisions about your participation.

Conversations, no agenda

The community webpage says posting your comments or a “like” on other community members’ posts will help BCF “shape conversations” for the drop-in event, scheduled for 6:30-8:30 p.m. November 23. This indicates that messages will not receive a direct response and for a written response you are asked to email [email protected]

“Feedback will be collected through conversations with BC Ferries staff, as well as a variety of opportunities to provide written feedback for other attendees to view, comment on and interact with…Our real goal is to ‘hear from the community and answer their questions,’ Chang wrote in a Nov. 10 email.

BCF said the event will have an “informal atmosphere,” with no formal agenda or introductions from the ferry company or others in attendance.

Perspectives of events and services differ

Diana Mumford, chair of the Southern Sunshine Coast Ferry Advisory Committee (SSCFAC), said she viewed the event as “an information session providing their (BCF’s) perspective on the ferry service”.

On November 8, Mumford told Coast Reporter: “Obviously the outlook for people on the Sunshine Coast is very different. For example, I am currently watching [at 10:30 a.m.] the situation at Langdale, where the 8:40 a.m. is still docked due to a mechanical problem and conflicting information provided by BCF. There was a service notice at 8:36 a.m. that sailing was holding, but it took BCF 1.5 hours to indicate on the Current Conditions page that sailing was not sailing on time and has now been canceled , the next navigation being already complete – if it even goes.

“It’s after yesterday [Nov. 7]where two round trip crossings were canceled due to weather conditions affecting the L-run vessel we receive from Nanaimo for the 5:30 and 7:55 evening crossings.

Who will be present from BCF?

The session is billed as an opportunity to speak directly with the “BC Ferries Community Relations Team”. BCF attendees are expected to include both its director and director of community relations, senior terminal and fleet operational managers, and representatives from BCF’s fleet deployment and In his email, Chang said that the Overseas attendees will travel to the event via the ferry system, as visitors where possible, and using carpooling arrangements.

The PT6 submission must be “clearly described”

The session will include information on route specific data (capacity, demand, crew, cancellations, etc.) and information on the Performance Term 6 (PT6) submission to the BC Ferries commissioner, Chang said. The PT6 submission covers BCF’s proposed service for 2024 to 2028. “The plans for Route 3 (Horseshoe Bay – Langdale) in the PT6 submission will be clearly outlined at this session and representatives who can answer questions about the proposals will be at your fingertips,” Chang wrote.

In Mumford’s view, the week leading up to Remembrance Day weekend “did not start well” for Route 3. “Yet in the PT6 submission, BCF does not appear to consider that our route needs ‘timely improvements,'” she wrote. .

The head of the local advisory committee says the causes of the road problems go beyond BCF. “Add the provincial government to the equation because there is currently a service contract between the government and BCF for our route where BCF must provide fewer crossings per year (2945) than the initial contract in 2003 (2985). a significant increase in the population of the coast since 2003, about 16% BCF provides 200 more crossings per year than expected, but we still have 30.5% overloads and 75% on-time (OTP). data that shows we have weeks where the OTP is below 50%,” Mumford said.

She also noted that any PT6 adjustment will not come into effect until 2024. Her concern is that the coming year’s service to the coast will be in a similar situation to 2022.

Representatives of the local ferry advisory committee will be there

Despite having frustrations with BCF’s current performance, future plans and how these affect life on the coast, Mumford says she will attend Nov. 23. The SSCFAC will have an information table at the event and will seek to connect with residents about the work of the committee and seek new members. Mumford, who plans to stay on for SSFAC’s next two-year term from 2023, said there was no membership limit for the group, but was to be a “manageable” number. Full details about the CAF and the application package are available at BCF website.

In Mumford’s words, the local group is “looking for people who are interested in all aspects of the ferry service, not just one issue, and want to be informed for any discussion. This means being prepared to read and ask thoughtful questions about documents such as the PT6 submission. »

What happens afterwards?

BCF said it will communicate the results of the session to the public via the community page within two weeks of the event. “This report will include a summary of the high-level themes we heard, answers to common questions, actions identified, and a report of the textual comments provided throughout the session,” Chang wrote.

Event costs

In response to Coast Reporter’s question about session costs, Chang wrote, “We usually spend between $200 and $500 to organize our events. This estimate does not include the cost of staff time to plan, attend, or report on procedures.

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