After ignoring feedback from thousands in ferry consultations, Liberals propose more meetings

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VICTORIA – While businesses and communities that rely on the Discovery Coast ferry route continue to fear for their future, the B.C. Liberal government is continuing to play politics rather than address their concerns, say the New Democrats.

“The Liberal government’s proposal to make up for the cancellation of a 115-vehicle ferry by extending the run of the smallest vessel in the fleet, which fits only 16 vehicles, has been ridiculed by the tourism operators who rely on this route,” said New Democrat ferries critic Claire Trevena. “And yet, the minister is still telling media that the route is just being modified.

“Transportation Minister Todd Stone says he was making tough choices when he chose to recklessly cut ferry services. But the truth is he isn’t even owning up to the cuts he has made.”

Today the Liberals announced they would hold meetings with tourism organizations to talk about the future of the route.

“Despite promising to ‘look people in the eyes and to talk to them about why it’s necessary,’ Minister Stone didn’t show up to a single one of his government’s so-called consultations with coastal communities in the fall. Then he announced they were going to disregard all the input they received and go ahead with their cuts as planned,” said Trevena.

“Are the meetings announced today simply more posturing from a government that won’t admit to its mistakes?”

Trevena added the Liberal government has refused even the simple request of tourism operators to postpone these cuts until after this summer, for which they had already made bookings.

“These cuts were not based on economic impact studies, and there was no research done into how they would affect the lives of the people who have to live with them,” said Trevena.