LETTER: The Balfour ferry experience

It is not easy for a government to balance its duty to protect the environment and yet allow for the economic interests of corporations.

One frequent visitor to BC says he likes the Kootenay Lake ferry the way it is and doesn't need a reduced crossing time.

It is not easy for a government to balance its duty to protect the environment and yet allow for the economic interests of corporations and their employees.

As difficult as that balancing act is, there is an additional duty to protect the quality of life. This means that a government must try to preserve the positive experiences its citizens encounter in their everyday life. An example of this is preserving the passenger train service from Vancouver to Halifax even though it is far more cost and time efficient to travel by plane.

Having visited BC 15 times in the last 40 years, you can just call me a loyal tourist. Many people like me look forward to the Balfour ferry experience and consider it one of the many attractions of the Kootenays.

The Balfour ferry experience provides access to inspiring vistas, opportunities to meet and create community, and time to appreciate one’s journey through BC and through life. When underway, the expansive Kootenay Lake reveals the stunning sweep of the Selkirk and Purcell mountain ranges. This vista, like great art, can simply be a beautiful backdrop or time can be invested to stop, look and listen to how it speaks to you today.

The Balfour ferry experience includes meeting a wide variety of people enjoying the crossing. Most passengers leave their vehicles to enjoy the common areas of the ferry. Some find a corner just to be by themselves and relax. Others are apt to share their experience with fellow travelers. Truckers benefit from a well-deserved break from the stress of navigating the twisty road, newlyweds on their wedding day stroll the ferry on the way to their reception, and Kootenay citizens just enjoy the wind on their face.

The steady pace of the Balfour ferry encourages people to slow down and appreciate their surroundings, the value of the experience, and perhaps discover something about their own lives. “There are none happy in the world but beings who enjoy a vast horizon” Damodara. What is to be gained by speeding through a part of your life that you enjoy? Why rush through a gourmet experience?

In conclusion, in its deliberations, the government should consider its responsibility to protect the experiences that your citizens enjoy. This is a golden opportunity to protect a part of the province’s infrastructure that is actually joyful, lowers stress levels, creates community and adds to the quality of life.

Thanks for continuing to provide the Balfour ferry experience.

Mark Lawson, Chicago

 

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