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New minister pledges to get up to speed on B.C. Ferries’ debate

WEST VANCOUVER, B.C. -- B.C.'s new Transportation Minister, Judith Reid, won some new friends as she met with resid...

WEST VANCOUVER, B.C. — B.C.’s new Transportation Minister, Judith Reid, won some new friends as she met with residents who are concerned about B.C. Ferries’ Horseshoe Bay expansion project.

About 200 people showed up at the Gleneagles Clubhouse to discuss the project with Reid. Most of them were calling for an end to the $30 million-expansion, which they say will create excess traffic and pollution problems.

Reid was well received by the majority of the residents, who were pleased to see her paying attention to their plight.

“You’re getting a nice audience because we’re West Vancouver and this is the honeymoon period (with the new provincial government),” resident Dan Sewell told the new Minister.

Reid told the audience that she was there to hear their concerns, not make a decision on the future of the controversial project. “I can understand the issues by hearing the people,” says Reid.

One resident pointed out it was the first time a minister responsible for ferries came to the table to hear concerns.

“We are not against revitalization, but this is an NDP mega-project and it’s not being done right. It’s B.C. Ferries’ job to move cars not park them — 1,200 (waiting) is inefficient,” Sewell also told the minister. “Can’t they do the job? Did they build the wrong boat?”

He went on to ask the minister to halt construction for 12 weeks so the community could look after its tourists safely, adding, “Then clean up the issues and come back to the table.”

The B.C. Trucking Association supports the project, as they say it will improve safety by getting trucks off the shoulder of the highway where they are currently forced to wait before boarding.

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