Frontenac Islands Mayor Denis Doyle says council wasn’t given much more than a heads up about the ferry schedule changes by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) than the public was.
“We did ask MTO to come over and have a meeting with us and they declined.”
The changes came into effect at the start of September, and affect the mid-morning commute; the ferry leaving every hour and a half — from its previous schedule of on the hour.
The changes were made to accommodate crew shift changes, lunch, maintenance and fuelling requirements.
The mayor says there are positives to the changes. The ferry service starts 15 minutes earlier in the morning making it easier for people going to work and students going to school to be on time.
Doyle says discussions with the ministry will continue.
“They’ve agreed they’ll come back at some point later should there be issues that arrive from it.”
Wolfe Island resident Judy Greenwood-Speers says the MTO should have held a public consultation meeting.
Greenwood Speers and a few other residents organized their own public meeting in August.
She says residents raised quality-of-life issues and health-and-safety issues.
Greenwood-Speers says those concerns were delivered to the MTO’s regional director.
“She had the detailed letter of concerns that ranged from the health and safety, to the children to the community to the churches to the institutions and the negative impact to as well to the trades and the expenses assigned.”
Greenwood-Speers says the regional director agreed to get back to her last week but that hasn’t happened.
“Some communication is really needed.”
Frontenac Islands council will also be getting a report by the chief of Frontenac Paramedic Services.
Doyle sums up the report saying paramedic services aren’t affected by the ferry schedule changes.
Greenwood-Speers thinks most resident concerns could be addressed if the hour-and-a-half gaps in service were shifted from the mid-morning to the evenings.