Sunday, April 29, 2012

Let Them Make Reservations

Our local BC Ferry that serves our harbour, Sturdies Bay, is called "The Queen of Nanaimo".  When the BC Ferry Corporation cut back on the number of staff per passenger and raised fares in order to make the public service "profitable", there was a decrease in the number of passengers, including foot passengers, that the vessel could legally carry.  As a result, one weekend when there was a big wedding on our island, there were so many guests who came to visit as foot passengers that when they wanted to return to the mainland at the end of their weekend visit, the ferry staff refused a large number of them to embark.  The refused foot passengers staged a demonstration and "occupied" the ferry landing deck, and demanded to be allowed to board.  The ferry could not leave the dock while there were people on the landing apron.  So the ferry corporation called in the RCMP to "clear the deck", with threats of arrests and so on if the footsies did not comply.  Finally the ferry was able to leave, and those people left behind had to fend for themselves until the next ferry sailing which was not until the next day.  BC Ferry Corporation's reply to the refused passengers, when they complained, was "You should have made reservations!" (Which was news to many because we had always understood that it was not possible to make reservations for foot passengers, only for cars on the boat.)  Therefore, my cartoon on the event is based upon the famous high and mighty misunderstanding of Marie Antoinette.  This cartoon will appear in Issue #90 of "The Islands Independent" (

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