Don’t decommission Ladysmith’s trolley heritage

Jeremy Kerr of Ladysmith urges council to look at creative ways to keep the trolley running on a regular schedule.


As a relative newcomer to the town of Ladysmith, I had mixed emotions to the Jan. 14 announcement that we were joining the CVRD transportation system and that our two trolleys will be replaced with community buses this fall.

Certainly, connecting Duncan and Ladysmith is a sign of progress and will provide increased access to important services for many members of our community. And, if we market this correctly, it could also draw people to our town and help revitalize our downtown core, especially if we are also able to share a similar connection to our other large neighbour to the north.

I have also heard many people call for the cancellation of the trolley service even before this announcement, citing low ridership and high operational costs.

Still, I have a strong sense that Ladysmith is about to lose something of significant value here: an intangible value that won’t show up on any balance sheet, but which I guarantee will have a negative impact for some time to come if our trolleys are decommissioned from regular service as planned.

My wife and I decided on Ladysmith to raise our family a few years ago because it is a “character” town which offers things none of our close neighbours can: strong community spirit, high-quality schools, small-town charm, amazing beach and waterfront access, the light-up festival, and yes, our very own trolley … all of which solidify Ladysmith as a vibrant town with character, and which solidified our decision to call Ladysmith “Home.”

While we are not regular riders of the trolley, it is nevertheless part of our daily lives. Recently, we had the opportunity to join my daughter’s Sparks class on an evening trolly ride through the First Avenue holiday lights (a magical experience for six-year-olds and parents alike) and every day when picking up my daughter or son from school and daycare, we are sure to pass by the trolley en route, and we never fail to comment how lucky we are to live here.

I would strongly urge for Ladysmith council to look for creative solutions to keep our trolley running on a regular schedule, to preserve this local treasure and reinforce the image of Ladysmith as a character town with a rich heritage. After all, isn’t our town moniker “Heritage By the Sea?” … and to that I would add, that heritage is not just those things we inherit, but also those things we choose to pass down.

Jeremy Kerr



Just Posted

(File photo)
Poverty reduction survey identifies 10 poverty themes

Poverty reduction plan will be finalized in July 2021

Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP Paul Manly says he has no intentions of leaving the Green Party. (House of Commons image)
Island Green MPs have “no intention” of leaving the party after ‘heartbreaking’ departure

Manly, May only remaining Green MPs after Jenica Atwin left for the Liberals over internal disputes

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of May 30-June 5. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
COVID-19 cases drop again almost everywhere on Vancouver Island

Nanaimo had four new cases last week, down from 22 the week before

Justine Keefer’s Cedar Elementary School Grade 6/7 class put together a student paper, as part of a school project. Pictured here Andrew Gregory, left, Felix Leduc, Addison Armstrong, Lucia Walker and Anise Dick. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Cedar Elementary School students create their own newspaper

Grade 6/7 class publishes Wolf Pack News as part of language arts and social studies

Évangeline Laforest and Oscar McClements’ invention La Méduse (the Jellyfish) removes oil from the ocean. The invention was one of 15 out of 700 inventions submitted to the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s Little Inventors contest. (Cole Schisler photo)
‘Little Inventors’ from Ladysmith showcased in national science challenge

Évangeline Laforest and Oscar McClements were one of 15 finalists in the Little Inventors Challenge

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Police cars are seen parked outside Vancouver Police Department headquarters on Saturday, January 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver police officer charged with assault during an arrest in 2019

The service has released no other details about the allegations

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen receives medical attention after collapsing during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Christian Eriksen in stable condition, Euro 2020 match resumes

Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system takes Indigenous children from their families

Nathan Watts, a member of the Tseshaht First Nation near Port Alberni, shares his story of substance use, a perspective he said isn’t seen enough. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Watts)
Public shaming, hate perpetuates further substance use: UVic researcher

Longtime addict Nathan Watts offers a user’s perspective on substance use

Most Read