While this weeks announcement of a new, seasonal ferry between Port Hardy and Bella Coola only took an hour, the work that went into it was years in the making.
When the old service was cancelled in the winter of 2013, the news was greeted with many negative responses, some suggesting the Liberals were putting the billion dollar-a-year tourism industry in B.C. in jeopardy and that there would be wide-spread job loses and some tourism-based businesses would be forced to close.
Almost immediately, Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett and others met to try to come up with a solution.
A working group was started and it wasn’t long before they realized a proper replacement would be good for all…
“having the right ferry, right product, right advertizing this would be a great tourism success story for the mid-coast, the Cariboo-Chilcotin and a product that people around the world be so excited to come and see.”
With the addition of first nations and tourism organizations a business plan was devised and after nearly three years of hard work, endless meetings and the co-operation with the ministries involved, the new plan was born.