The District of Port Hardy has thrown their support behind a call to reduce BC Ferries fares.
At their meeting June 23, council dealt with a request for a letter of support from Islands Trust Council which is asking the provincial government to fund a 25 per cent reduction in rates on minor ferry routes.
“A well-advertised drop in fares on the minor routes would help our communities bounce back and give us all time to work together on longer-term solutions,” said Peter Luckham, chair of the Islands Trust Council.
Luckman said that since 2003 fares on some routes have increased four to five times higher than the cost of inflation and another 1.9 per cent increase is planned for the next four years.
In May of 2015, the Islands Trust Council hired Perrin Thorau & Associates to calculate the cost of lowering fares on all minor routes. The consultants determined that an additional $11 to $14 million is needed annually to decrease fares 25 per cent.
Council agreed to write a letter of support.
The Islands Trust is a federation of local government bodies representing 25,000 people living on the island and 10,000 non-resident property owners.
The Islands Trust is responsible for preserving and protecting the unique environment and amenities through planning and regulating land use, development management, education, cooperation with other agencies and land conservation. It covers 13 major and more than 450 smaller islands totalling 5,200 square kilometres.