Gabriola FAC Supports the electrification of BC Ferries’ Island Class vessels

On January 13, 2021 Steve Earle on behalf of the Gabriola FAC submitted the letter below in support of BC Ferries’ request for federal grant money for electrification of Island Class routes. The FAC is delighted that BC Ferries is applying for this federal support and hopes that the new ferries for the Gabriola route can realize their potential to be run as all-electric vessels as soon as possible after the redeployment of the Quinsam.

Mark Collins
Chief Executive Officer, BC Ferries

Dear Mark,

I am writing to express the support of the Gabriola Ferry Advisory Committee for the electrification of BC Ferries’ Island Class vessels and their associated terminals. This initiative would enable the conversion of Island Class ferries from diesel-electric hybrid to all-electric by allowing them to seamlessly recharge their batteries during the embarkation and disembarkation of passengers.

Like most Canadians, we are aware of the significant threats posed by climate change, and we support any efforts to reduce the use of fossil fuels in transportation systems, including the BC Ferries fleet.

We also value the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales, Pacific Salmon and all other marine organisms within the waters of our communities. We understand that electrification of the Island Class ferries will contribute to quieter and cleaner ship operations that will help reduce noise impacts on local communities and on the marine life that we value. We are also supportive of the elimination of air contaminants that will help improve our community health and well-being.

The employment generated by this project would help stimulate the local economy and be of benefit to our community. Interconnection upgrades also have the potential of benefiting the power grid system by providing three phase power to our community that will support future economic and local business growth.

In our view, this effort represents an essential step that will help Canada take meaningful action against climate change while positioning our region as a leader in marine environmental protection.
We support this project and hope that the government will contribute funding so that the conversions can proceed quickly.

Sincerely,

Steven Earle on behalf of the Gabriola Ferry Advisory Committee

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