“Ban the Bridges” petition garners 2,109 signatures

Sounder News

Tuesday, April 21 2015

The Bridge-Free Salish Sea (BFSS) Collective delivered a petition against fixed links among the Gulf Islands to the BC Legislature in Victoria this past Monday, April 13. 

The petition totalled 2,109 signatures with 1,641 from Gabriola and Mudge Islands. 

Photo courtesy Chris Bowers, Bridge-Free Salish Sea (L-R): Howard Houle, Director, Regional District of Nanaimo Area B; Sheila Malcolmson, federal NDP candidate for Nanaimo-Ladysmith; Claire Trevena (NDP-North Island and New Democrat Transportation critic); Doug Routley (NDP-Nanaimo North Cowichan); Steve O’Neil; Penny Sidor; Jacinthe Eastick;  Heather Nicholas, Gabriola Trustee, Islands Trust; Veronica Hartman.

Presenting on behalf of the BFSS were MLAs Doug Routley (NDP-Nanaimo North Cowichan) and Claire Trevena (NDP-North Island and New Democrat Transportation critic). 

Heather Nicholas (Gabriola Trustee, Islands Trust), Howard Houle (Area B Director: Gabriola, Mudge and DeCourcy, Regional District of Nanaimo), and Sheila Malcolmson, federal NDP candidate for Nanaimo-Ladysmith, attended in support of the petition along with six members of the collective. 

The collective hopes that Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, Todd Stone, is listening when they say “ban the bridges, fix the ferries.”

Transportation Minister Todd Stone was emailed for comment on the petition and what it means with regards to the feasibility study.

Ministry staff responded saying it is far too early to even speculate about construction of a bridge stating the study being conducted into a fixed link is “simply a study to determine if a fixed link is feasible, and to roughly estimate the cost of a fixed link.

“We think it is important for those on both sides of the debate to have the facts on the feasibility and potential cost of such a project. We understand the engineering firm has completed its on-the-ground work as part of the study. Their next step is to compile the data into a report for government. Government has not yet received the final report. The ministry has said previously that it will report out this summer.

“Until the ministry receives the report and reviews the feasibility of the project, it’s premature to consider next steps.”