MP, MLA applaud Klemtu terminal funding as good for whole coast

OTTAWA/PRINCE RUPERT

Today’s $25 million joint federal/provincial funding announcement to build a new ferry terminal at Klemtu will bring both economic and basic lifestyle benefits to the Kitasoo, say Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen and North Coast MLA Gary Coons.

Both representatives have recently contacted the Federal and Provincial ministries involved to express support for the project and urge a speedy release of the funds.

“This is a perfect infrastructure project for federal stimulus spending and I’m very pleased the funding has come through for it,” Cullen said from Ottawa this morning.

Cullen noted the new terminal will be a boon to the area’s growing adventure and cultural tourism economy, as well as making it easier for people, goods and services to move in and out of the First Nations village.

“The positive impact of this single ferry dock will be felt among all of the ferry-dependent communities on the Northern Routes, including Haida Gwaii/Queen Charlotte Islands,” said Coons, who is also the Opposition Critic for BC Ferries.

The new terminal will provide berthing facilities for BC Ferries’ Northern Expedition, something not possible at the existing site.

“My office has been flooded with concerns about the effectiveness of the ferry service provided by the Northern Adventure and questions about why the Northern Expedition is not servicing the route is was built for,” Coons noted. “This will alleviate those concerns and we will finally have a vessel that can be used in heavy winter seas on Hecate Strait.”

The new ferry terminal will be constructed at Wedge Rock, two kilometres north of the existing terminal.  The project will include a berth, ramp, vehicle compound and road improvements to the site.  Construction is scheduled to finish March 2011.

Contact: Shelley Browne, 250-877-4140; nathan.cullen.c1@parl.gc.ca