B.C. seeks ways to ease ferry fare hikes

New ferries have added costs to the BC Ferries fleet. Fares are going up across the fleet

VICTORIA – BC Ferries isn’t allowed to use revenue from its busy routes to prevent steeper increases on the smaller island and northern runs.

That is one of the regulations imposed by the B.C. government in 2003 that is being reviewed by Gordon Macatee, the new B.C. Ferry Commissioner. Another is the mandate to move toward a user-pay system, which has resulted in fuel surcharges along with higher fares on BC Ferries’ 25 salt-water routes.

Transportation Minister Blair Lekstrom said he has heard loud and clear from ferry users that they’ve had enough of big increases, and he wants “a primary focus on affordability” to consider tourism and other business as well as residents.

BC Ferries CEO David Hahn has said the mandate of the quasi-independent Crown corporation and its current public subsidy could result in a doubling of rates for some routes in the coming years, and substantial increases across the fleet.

Lekstrom said he doesn’t accept that, but he wouldn’t comment on the possibility of increasing the provincial subsidy.

BC Ferries is returning to fuel surcharges in June as fuel prices have soared, and has requested rate increases for next spring. Lekstrom said the fuel surcharges will go ahead.

BC Ferries is seeking rate increases of about four per cent on major routes and eight per cent on others to take effect next year. Lekstrom said he is considering legislation to allow temporary relief before the spring legislative session ends June 2.

Macatee’s review is to be complete at the end of September.

Just Posted

Fishin’ Corner: Stand up for your fishing rights

“Don’t give in to DFO and their quota bureaucracy that the fish belong to everyone.”

B.C. students send books to displaced students of Hornby Island school fire

Maple Ridge elementary school teacher says students learned about acts of kindness

North Island Tour De Rock rider Benjamin Leah leads team to Port Hardy

“You don’t have issues and problems when you look at these kids and how much they’re going through.”

Get ready for a week of sunshine across Vancouver Island

Environment Canada is forecasting temperatures in the high teens all this week

PRACC Chair Fred Robertson happy with how windmill blade display turned out

“Rotary really stepped up, which was excellent.”

Ottawa area residents take stock of tornado rubble as Ford tours the ruins

A tornado on Friday afternoon tore roofs off of homes, overturned cars and felled power lines in the Ottawa community of Dunrobin and in Gatineau, Que.

Cap rent increases at inflation rate, B.C. task force recommends

MLAs say drop annual increase that would allow 4.5% rise next year

Nanaimo woman envisions Vancouver Island’s first cat café

Business idea still in early planning stages and hopes to be open next year

School, church and old mining site make Heritage BC’s 1st ever ‘watch list”

The list includes sites in need of protection to maintain B.C.’s culture and history

Yowza! Twerk, emoji and facepalm are added to Scrabble dictionary, OK?

Merriam-Webster has announced 300 new words have been added to the spelling game

LGBTQ activists, allies in Victoria counter anti-SOGI protest with rally of their own

Lower Mainland activists plan to protest SOGI on legislature lawn, Sept. 29

Cities make power play for new fiscal order with eye to 2019 federal election

Trudeau ordered Champagne to talk with provinces and territories about ways to “address the timeliness of the flow of funds” to projects.

Trudeau arrives at United Nations, hoping to re-establish Canada on world stage

Trudeau is beginning his day at the opening of the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit, where he’s scheduled to deliver brief remarks later this afternoon.

B.C.’s FATSO peanut butter to appear on Dragon’s Den

The Victoria company will be featured on the Sept. 27 episode of the popular show highlighting Canadian businesses

Most Read