Video of Queens Bay Swim-in (Sunday August 21, 2016)
Also to see a 2nd Swim-in short video Click Here and for a 3rd Click Here.
The British Columbia Government in Canada is proposing to move the Kootenay Lake Balfour ferry terminal to environmentally sensitive Queens Bay.
Photo credit: Darrell Van Horne– looking towards Queens Bay north
Help Save Queens Bay by asking the BC government to stay the course, not to build an industrial & commercial ferry terminal with a large parking lot, but to choose to keep the ferry terminal in Balfour!
Click here to contact the BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) Marine Branch.
Have a look! Watch trailer of upcoming new film in HD showing the incredible unique beauty of Queens Bay – Click on: “My Summer at Queens Bay.”
Moving the Balfour ferry terminal to Queens Bay would not only destroy the scenic beauty, virgin shoreline and pollute the pure water of the bay but it would also devastate the local Balfour business community.
Photo credit: ChooseBalfour.com – Balfour ferry terminal, with Osprey 2000 ferry docked
Over 60 jobs are at stake with annual losses between $7 to $10 million in economic activity. A significant loss of BC tax revenue is at stake, cancelling-out any projected operational cost savings of the proposed shorter ferry route.
This is according to the Ferry Landing Partnership, a group composed of the Queens Bay Residents’ Association and the Balfour Ferry Business Coalition who are uniting to keep the Balfour Ferry Landing in Balfour. To learn more about the impacts on Balfour, please click here.
Photo: 500 meters of shoreline & wetlands would be destroyed
It makes more sense for all stakeholders to stay the course and keep the ferry landing in Balfour by upgrading and improving the current terminal.
Photo credit: Robert Neufeld (Queens Bay looking north-east)
How could the BC government ever justify the destruction of more than half a kilometer of ecosensitive Queens Bay shoreline and wetlands, ruining the peaceful nature of the bay enjoyed by locals and tourists?
Photos: proposed location of Queens Bay ferry terminal – click to enlarge
The BC government’s proposal to build a large ferry terminal structure in Queens Bay would also be unsafe.
Previous BC governments deemed it too problematic and potentially unsafe to move the terminal to Queens Bay as per former transportation minister Corky Evans.
He refers to the effect of wind and waves (worst during storms) on the ferry’s superstructure, making it harder for the ship to land gently. “That’s the open lake where the wind is blowing practically from Creston,” says Evans.
Image: SNC Lavalin proposal to build a ferry terminal in Queens Bay north, as submitted to BC government
This massive construction would require major dredging and over 90,000 cubic meters of fill that would forever destroy shoreline and destroy the Queens Bay Wetlands.
One cubic meter is no less than 2 tonnes, so it is adding a fill of 180,000 tonnes to the shoreline. This is the equivalent of about 10,000 fully loaded single axle dump trucks.
It would be a serious mistake to pave paradise and build a large parking lot.
Photo: Ground zero of proposed Queens Bay ferry terminal site
Balfour and Queens Bay residents get their pure drinking water from the glacier water in the bay. Residents are very concerned that the construction and operation of a Queens Bay ferry terminal would make their drinking water unsafe to drink.
Unlike in Balfour where the river current circulates pollution downstream, the water in the bay does not circulate and any pollution would get stuck and accumulate. This could include automobile sludge, heavy diesel ferry pollution (air and water), and people pollution, etc.
Photo: Pure glacier water in the bay is at risk
Polluting the water is not an option for locals and the solution is to stay the course with Balfour.
Photo: Part of Queens Bay shoreline that would be destroyed (photo by Robin Goldbury)
Queens Bay is an important archeological and cultural site with evidence of first nations’ presence going back thousands of years. Arrow heads and other artifacts are regularly found along the length of the beach.
Local and regional residents, including across Nelson, BC, all over BC, Alberta, and Canada, plus a growing number of international tourists, are uniting to oppose the destruction of Queens Bay and support Balfour.
The current Balfour ferry terminal, located in the Western arm of Kootenay Lake, has been in operation since 1947. As per the government, one option is to upgrade the Balfour ferry terminal because all issues can be fixed and the terminal can be upgraded. Watch video of ferry docking at Balfour.
The government is seeking your input! Ask the BC Ministry to invest in improving the Balfour terminal instead of investing in the destruction of Queens Bay. Ask that they invest in building, not in environmental destruction!
Unfortunately, the SNC-Lavalin study and report that is informing the MOTI’s decision-making process has many gaps that create a bias in favour of moving the terminal.
It also contains incomplete information related to major issues that will lead to additional costs and predictable cost overruns.
John Betts from the Queens Bay Association says the study overlooks many factors such as socioeconomic, environmental, cultural, and cumulative impacts.
Residents told the BC government that they felt they were being treated unfairly with only a 3 week rushed public consultation period and on July 6th, the BC government announced it was extending its public consultation until October 6th.
However, the residents still feel that the study by SNC is biased and government survey is also biased and does not properly address the most important issues.
Balfour resident Kris Huiberts told the Nelson Star that the consultation process is nothing more than a public relations stunt.
Residents are growing frustrated because the BC government is only focused on the pros of moving the ferry terminal to Queens Bay and are ignoring the long list of major negatives.
Instead of an industrial ferry terminal, residents are proposing to transform the northern section of Queens Bay into a protected regional park, as per The Rossland Telegraph.
Residents will not give up the fight to stop the government from destroying Queens Bay and from devastating the Balfour community.
The ferry landing has been in operation since 1947. However, the history of Balfour dates back many decades prior; including an October 1919 visit by the Prince of Wales Prince Edward, future King of England, aboard the sternwheeler SS Nassokin.
Queens Bay first European settlers and residents date back mostly to the early 1900s, when Lord Aylmer, 8th Baron of Balrath and retired Inspector General of the Canadian Armed Forces, arrived in Queens Bay with his family in 1909 from Ottawa.
Photo credit: Nelson Touchstones — Queens Bay Residents, pioneers (at Queens Bay Wharf circa 191?)
PLEASE SHARE WITH FAMILY, FRIENDS AND CONTACTS!
See below and ask the government to keep the ferry terminal in Balfour.
Contact KIRK HANDRAHAN and TODD STONE at the BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI). Also call MLA MICHELLE MUNGALL.
Some key points:
1) This is not a decision that can be made on efficiency and costs alone.
2) Socioeconomic impact to Balfour and Queens Bay residents.
3) The SNC-Lavalin report that is informing the MOTI’s decision-making process has many gaps that create a bias in favour of moving the Terminal to Queens Bay.
4) Environmental impacts to Queens Bay including shoreline habitat, quality of drinking water, and much more.
5) Stewardship of the lake for future generations.
THE HON. TODD STONE – MINISTER OF TRANSPORTATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE
PO Box 9055 Stn Prov Govt
MICHELLE MUNGALL MLA
Constituency Office (Nelson)
Michell Mungall MLA
433 Josephine Street
KIRK HANDRAHAN – EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR MARINE BRANCH
PO Box 9850
Stn Prov Govt
ASK THE GOVERNMENT NOT TO IGNORE MAJOR STAKEHOLDERS!
In their ferry survey form below, the BC Ministry of Transport somehow forgot to include the residents who live in Queens Bay – the people who will be affected significantly if an industrial ferry terminal is built in their neighbourhood.
Photo credit: Nelson Star
Their survey was designed to focus people only on issues of convenience, such as how people value a shorter vs. longer ferry ride, how they prioritize a coffee shop at the terminal, if driving an extra 3km would be inconvenient, etc. ignoring the major concerns of the environmental destruction of pristine Queens Bay, and social, cultural and economic devastation of Balfour.
Let’s take a strong stand until we win this fight to help our government see the light! Let’s help them remember that keeping the Balfour ferry terminal and investing in Balfour will Save Queens Bay.
Photo: Queens Bay North (left) proposed ferry terminal in pristine eco-sensitive area
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead
Photo credit Douglas Noblet – Wild Air Photography – Areal view Kootenay Lake