Ferry fares not fair

Ferries are an essential part of the transportation system of the B.C. Coast.

That’s why raising fares by more than 37 per cent on the minor routes over the next four years is unconscionable.

Rural and remote communities have already been hit hard economically in the past two decades as fishing and forestry have downsized. Now many must leave their water-accessible communities for work, recreation and shopping. Increasing the cost to do so is punitive.

As part of the highway transportation system, money needs to be spent to maintain and operate BC Ferries. For people living in remote communities, taking the ferry is the equivalent of paying a toll to use new sections of road or a new bridge elsewhere in B.C. The only difference is on the ferry the tolls keep rising and the road will never be paid for.

While BC Ferries is supposed to operate somewhat independently, it is still part of the highways system and relies on provincial funding. That funding needs to be increased. Like fixing potholes in other portions of highway infrastructure, the provincial government needs to fill the gaps where fares are not enough to keep the road open.

As well, the business model for BC Ferries needs to be adjusted so that profits realized on the major routes can subsidize the minor routes.

Fare increases will impact all those living on Vancouver Island who will pay more for food, fuel and other products, but the hardship higher fares will impose on remote communities is inexcusable.

The public has until June 30 to voice its opinion over the proposed fare increases at bcferrycommission.com.

 

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.

Senate seats filled in B.C., Saskatchewan

Canada’s newest senators are the first woman to lead the RCMP and a Cree Metis businessman

Newfoundland’s popular ‘merb’ys’ calendar is back

The calendar of burly, bearded mermen posing against scenic backdrops for charity returns

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.

Most Read