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 #: 06-02-01

January 21, l999

Honourable Dan Miller
Minister for Northern Development and BC Ferries
Via Fax: (250) 387-2965

Dear Honourable Mr. Miller:

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

The North Shore Disability Resource Centre provides services to over 200 people with disabilities on the North Shore, including Bowen Island. The Board of Directors of our Association is appalled to learn that the BC Ferry Corporation is planning to replace the Queen of Capilano, now serving Bowen Island, with a ferry which is not fully wheelchair accessible. This is a huge step backwards for Bowen Island residents and visitors with mobility disabilities. It is also distressing to learn that this plan of action was developed by the Corporation without seeking input from the Bowen Island Transportation Advisory Committee (BITAC), or any local or provincial organization advocating for the rights of people with disabilities. The BCFC decision not to consult with the BITAC is incomprehensible given the fact that this committee was set up by the Corporation specifically for stakeholder consultation.

The priorities of the BC Ferry Corporation are wrong, when millions are spent on fast ferries while smaller vessels continue to provide inadequate access to people with disabilities. Inaccessible ferries should not be servicing any community, and particularly those like Bowen Island, which have only one ferry route. The denial of adequate transportation access to people with mobility disabilities is discriminatory and completely unacceptable.

I urge you to intervene to ensure that the BC Ferry Corporation honours its commitment to stakeholder consultation, and that any plans which the BCFC implements to change ferry service to Bowen Island will provide full access to people with disabilities.

Sincerely,

[signed]

Sally Scott
President

380-3958 Curtis Eaton, Chairman, BC Ferry Corporation
389-2845 Glen Brown, Executive Vice President, Inter-Island Services, BC Ferry Corporation
947-9836 Adam Holbrook, former Chair, Bl Advisory Transportation Committee
947-9730 Don MacLean, Chair, Bowen Islandís Ferry C.U.R.E. Society
387-0198 Dulcie McCallum, Ombudsman of BC
387-0087 Glen Clark, Premier
387-5594 Honourable Joy MacPhail, Finance Minister
356-2290 Honourable Harry Lali, Minister of Transportation and Highways
981-0010 Ted Nebbeling, MLA, West Vancouver - Garibaldi
356-7109 Doug Symons, MLA, Richmond Centre, BC Ferries Critic
387-4088 Gordon Wilson, MLA, Powell River - Sunshine Coast
947-0930 Richard Littlemore, GVRD Director
947-0715 Eric Sherlock, Island Trustee
947-0664 Tracy Chambers, Island Trustee


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