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Ferry operator upset over ‘parking fee’

The owner of the passenger ferry connecting West Vancouver to CoalHarbour, downtown, is upset the Park Board wants to charge him $500 amonth for using the dock at the foot of Bute Street.

The owner of the passenger ferry connecting West Vancouver to Coal Harbour, downtown, is upset the Park Board wants to charge him $500 a month for using the dock at the foot of Bute Street.

Capt. Ihab Shaker, owner and operator of B.C. Coastal Ferries, was at a Park Board meeting last night to ask why he should pay to use a public space.

“I am offering a public service at no cost to the tax payers, using a public dock,” said Shaker.

Park Board commissioner Ian Robertson said B.C. Coastal Ferries is a commercial operation and should pay a parking fee.

“Captain Ihab is a for-profit business operator. Obviously, with the increased use this private operator would bring, there is going to be some additional maintenance work, and I don’t think the taxpayers should be left to pay the bill,” said Robertson.

Shaker said he would pay to continue operating, but he pointed out that West Vancouver is giving him time to build up a customer base.

“They gave me the docks for six months free of charge, on a trial period, then we will reassess,” said Shaker.

 
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