November 4, 1998
Mr. Peter Hamilton
Vancouver, British Colummbia
Dear. Mr. Hamilton,
Thank you for your letter of August 5, 1998, reiterating your position with regard to the possibility of a collision between one of B.C. Ferries' PacifiCats and an orca, and your request for an Environmental Impact study. I regret that my schedule does not allow me to meet with you about this issue, and I apologize for the delay in my response.
I assure you that I share your concern about the population decline in the southern resident orca community, and would certainly not knowingly support any activity that might jeopardize their well-being.
Environmental responsibility is an important priority for the citizens of British Columbia, and they rightly expect the B.C. Government and its Crown Corporations to properly manage this stewardship.
B.C. Ferries, in fact, has championed this cause, and their record of initiatives and precautionary measures implemented in order to safeguard our environment and wildlife is impressive.
While transient pods may transit the mid-strait area, the noise generated by the large water jets and engines of the PacifiCats would deter any whales from remaining in the area.
With these points in mind, and in the light of the details I raised in my previous letter to you, you may be assured that if B.C. Ferries' research to date had revealed any possibility of such an occurrence, further action would have been taken. This was not the case, however, and as the situation has not changed, an Environmental Impact Study is not required at this time.
Again, thank you for writing and for your continued interest in this matter. A copy of your letter has been forwarded to Mr. T.C. Ward, President and Chief Executive Officer of the B.C. Ferry Coporation, so that he too, will be aware of your concerns.
Mr. T.C. Ward,
President and CEO
British Columbia Ferry Corporation