MV Nimpkish carries up to 16 vehicles

Ferry to be upgraded for circle tours

Food, water, washrooms, seating and shelter promised for passengers on smaller ferry to run from Bella Bella to Bella Coola

BC Ferries will upgrade the MV Nimpkish ferry to provide food, water, washrooms, seating and shelter for passengers on the summer run from Bella Bella to Bella Coola, to effort to retain traffic on the Discovery Coast circle tour.

Transportation Minister Todd Stone said Thursday the ferry upgrade and schedule changes are being made to make up for discontinuing the Port Hardy-to-Bella Coola run as part of cuts to under-used ferry routes.

Stone defended the decision to take the larger Queen of Chilliwack off its weekly summer run, replacing it with the Nimpkish four times a week. Connection from northern Vancouver Island to Bella Bella will be done with the Northern Expedition or Northern Adventure, newer vessels that serve the longer Inside Passage route from Port Hardy to Prince Rupert.

The combined sailings provide enough capacity to carry the 500 to 600 vehicles a year that were taking the Queen of Chilliwack, Stone said. At that usage, the former route lost more than $7 million a year, an amount that would double if the aging Queen of Chilliwack were replaced, he said.

Tourism organizations and coastal communities have protested the change, saying foreign tour operators have lost confidence since the changes were announced last November.

Stone said tourism operators should identify their bookings and what is needed to make good on their commitments.

Minister of state for tourism Naomi Yamamoto will visit the Cariboo-Chilcotin to meet with tourism operators who have promoted the circle tour, which continues by road from Bella Coola to Williams Lake.

 

Just Posted

Castlegar teens rescue man from river

Will Watt and Shay LaFayette helped save a fisherman from the Kootenay River.

Gas venting from tanker at Castlegar rail yard posed no danger: officials

Argon gas discharged from a CP tanker car on Friday, April 19.

Carfentanil found for first time in Castlegar

Killer opiod found in local illegal drug market

Rossland’s Seven Summits school gets grant to grow global presence

Centre for Learning hopes to triple the number of international students it has

Rural dividend grants awarded in Kootenay West

Kootenay West MLA Katrine Conroy made the grant announcements in Trail on Thursday

What’s age got to do with it? B.C. couple with 45-year gap talks happy marriage

An Armstrong couple that has 45-year age gap began turning heads after being featured on show Extreme Love.

WATCH: South Vancouver Island shooting an ‘isolated and targeted’ incident, say police

One person in custody, another fled following shooting and crash on West Shore

Woe, Canada: Bruins down Maple Leafs 5-1 in Game 7

No Canadian teams left in Stanley Cup playoffs

Defence accuses officer of ‘incompetence’ in trial for B.C. man accused in daughters’ murder

Double murder trial for the Victoria father accused of killing his two young daughters continues

B.C. men challenge constitutionality of Canada’s secret no-fly list

Parvkar Singh Dulai says he received a “denial of boarding” notification under the no-fly program last May 17

Murder on B.C. property didn’t need to be disclosed before sale, court rules

Buyer had tried to break contract after learning a man with ties to crime had been murdered there

B.C.’s largest Vaisakhi festival target of threatening Facebook post: Surrey RCMP

Police say they are investigating the posts on Facebook, after local MLA forwarded screenshots

Pug life: B.C. town boasts waggish list of dog names

Freedom-of-information request lists most ‘pupular’ dog names registered in White Rock

VIDEO: Fish farming company launches $30-million vessel to treat salmon for sea lice in B.C. waters

Freshwater treatment an improvement but fish farms should be removed from sea, says conservationist

Most Read