BC Ferries logo. (supplied by BC Ferries)
A Denman Island parent is upset after her child was late for school because of a ferry cancellation between Denman Island and Buckley Bay.
Danielle Vandermolen says her daughter was on the way to school Friday morning when she had to wait for the ferry from Denman to Buckley Bay.
“Our kids caught the bus, went down to catch the ferry to school. The kids sat at the ferry terminal until well after 9:00am.”
BC Ferries spokesperson Chelsea Carlson confirmed that there was an issue on the route, causing the delay.
“We had a mechanical issue on the banes sound connector on Friday morning and as a result, we had to cancel two round trips between Denman Island and Buckley Bay.”
She says the schools were made aware of the situation as well.
“The terminal manager did contact the school administrator to advise of the situation. Our engineers do work as quickly as possible to get the ship up and running, unfortunately, we don’t have a replacement vessel, but we do try and get that ship running as quick as we can and of course, contact the school to let them know,” said Carlson.
Vandermolen explained that she was upset because of the communication between BC Ferries the school district and the bus company was lacking.
“I made a few phone calls and I discovered that BC Ferries had only called people once and then stopped communication altogether. Considering this is going to be a consistent problem obviously with BC Ferries I take issue because there is no protocol on what to do or how to get our kids to and from school if this happens,” said Vandermolen.
She says she hopes in the future BC Ferries can work more closely with the two organizations to help parents stay informed.
“I just hope that BC Ferries, the school district, and bus company come up with a better protocol together as a united front instead of the bus company and the school board trying to negotiate with BC Ferries.”
BC Ferries says it could look at introducing a water taxi for students if the issue continues, but it hasn’t received enough concerns to do so in the near future.
“Yes we could look at a water taxi if the issue persists and we need to cancel further sailings but no, we haven’t heard any concerns,” said Carlson.
Vandermolen added that the disconnect between the Comox Valley and Denman Island students and residents seems to get bigger every year.
“As a person who grew up here on the island, it’s becoming harder and harder to go to extra circular activities and be apart of the Comox Valley community, and with these issues with BC Ferries it’s really secluding our children.”