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First Nation in Bella Bella says ferry cuts will leave them isolated

Heiltsuk First Nation chief says ferry is key for health, economy


A First Nations leader is warning that cuts to BC Ferries routes will leave them isolated. 

Yesterday BC Ferries announced cuts to a number of routes, including canceling the summer service between Port Hardy and Bella Coola.  Marilyn Slett is Chief Councilor of the Heiltsuk First Nation in Bella Bella, an island community accessible only by boat or plane. She says community members rely on the ferry for a number of important services including visiting doctors and other medical specialists.
Slett also points out Bella Bella is still struggling with the loss of its only grocery store to a fire this past summer, and that the ferry cuts will make it even more difficult to get goods. "It's really going to negatively impact our small businesses in our community. We also use it for freight services for groceries into our community grocery store."
Slett also says BC Ferries has done a poor job of consulting with the community about the cuts. The ferry corporation is holding a meeting in Bella Bella this weekend. 

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