B.C. Liberals won’t commit to protecting Horseshoe Bay-Departure Bay ferry service

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VICTORIA –Transportation Minister Todd Stone is refusing to rule out cutting the ferry service that connects Horseshoe Bay and Nanaimo

“I asked the minister directly whether he was planning to cut this vital link between Vancouver Island and the mainland; he did not deny it,” said New Democrat ferries critic Claire Trevena.

Trevena pointed out that last week Stone’s parliamentary secretary for B.C. Ferries, West Vancouver-Sea to Sky MLA Jordan Sturdy, said the government was thinking about cutting the Horseshoe Bay-Departure Bay service.

Stone himself floated the idea late last year when he said with a seismic upgrade needed at Horseshoe Bay, this was a “perfect opportunity” to “assess the viability of the two routes that serve the mid-Vancouver Island. And we’re going to get into that very soon with B.C. Ferries.”

In the legislature on Tuesday, Trevena asked the minister to clarify whether the run is on the chopping block. The minister responded by saying he is “embracing all kinds of strategies, which are currently being explored.”

“The minister is failing to seriously address an issue that will impact local economies in Nanaimo and Horseshoe Bay, and ferry users on the island and the mainland. It’s outrageous,” said Nanaimo MLA Leonard Krog.

“What this minister refused to say, even when asked directly, is that this route will not be the next victim of this government’s reckless cuts, which are being made without economic impact studies.”