NORTH SHORE DISABILITY RESOURCE CENTRE
3158 Mountain Highway
North Vancouver, B.C. V7K 2H5
Phone Telephone (604) 985-5371
Fax Facsimile (604) 985-7594

File No. 06-02-01

January 19, l999

Curtis Eaton, Chairman
B.C. Ferry Corporation Board of Directors
Sent via Fax to: (250) 380-3958

Dear Mr. Eaton:

Re: Proposed Reduction in Wheelchair Accessibility of Ferry Service to Bowen Island.

It is our understanding that the BCFC is intending to replace the Queen of Capilano currently serving Bowen Island with the Queen of Howe Sound. To our knowledge the Queen of Howe Sound does not make adequate provision for wheelchair access. People who use wheelchairs or scooters, or people who find it difficult to climb stairs, will be forced to remain in vehicles or to sit in an unheated trailer on the car deck without access to washroom facilities. In addition, supplementary service provided by a proposed passenger-only ferry is completely inaccessible.

The denial of adequate transportation access to Bowen Island residents and visitors with mobility disabilities is discriminatory and completely unacceptable. This plan of action was developed by the Corporation without seeking input from the Bowen Island Transportation Advisory Committee, or any local or provincial organization advocating for the rights of people with disabilities.

On Monday January 18, l999, our Board of Directors unanimously passed a motion to support the four principles developed by the Bowen Island Advisory Transportation Committee, which must be guaranteed by BCFC prior to discussions with the stakeholder Committee on any proposed changes to Bowen’s ferry service.

The Principles are that:
* BCFC will provide service to meet demand, rather than rationing capacity
* BCFC will provide adequate and timely service to meet the needs of commuters, students, people with disabilities, seniors and parents with small children
* BCFC will provide service such that the Island has all-weather, timely access to emergency services such as BC Hydro repair equipment
* BCFC will negotiate in good faith and will ensure that the interests of residents of Bowen Island are not subordinated to the interests of other BCF customers.

Our Association serves over 200 people with disabilities on the North Shore, including Bowen Island. Please provide us with immediate assurance that any plans which the BCFC implements to change ferry service provided to Bowen Island will provide full access to people with disabilities. Any reduction of the full access currently provided by BCFC is intolerable.

Sincerely

[signed]

Sally Scott
President

This letter has been copied via fax to:

Glen Brown, Executive Vice President, Inter-Island Services BC Ferry Corp 389-2845
Adam Holbrook, former Chair, BI Advisory Transportation Committee 947-9836
Don MacLean, Chair, Bowen Island’s Ferry C.U.R.E. Society 947-9730
Dulcie McCallum, Ombudsman of BC 387-0198
Pam Horton, President, BC Coalition of People with Disabilities 875-9227
Lynn Rolko, President, BC Association for Community Living 875-6744
Steve Cook, President, MS Society of Canada - BC Division 689-0377
William Morley, President, BC Paraplegic Association 326-1229
Margle Knox, Chairman, Canadian National Institute for the Blind 431-2099
Frank Jonason, Director, Office for Disability Issues 387-3114
Richard Littlemore, BVRD Director 947-0930
Eric Sherlock, Island Trustee 947-0715
Tracy Chambers, Island Trustee 947-0664
Ted Nebbeling, MLA, West Vancouver - Garibaldi 981-0010
John Reynolds, MP, Capilano - Howe Sound 666-1226


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