B.C. must bring Ottawa on board to support our ferries

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North-Coast-FerryVICTORIA— As B.C. Transportation Minister Todd Stone heads to Ottawa with a shopping list for transportation needs, New Democrats are calling on him to bring back new money for our coastal ferry system.

“Our transportation system is more than bridges and light rail, it includes our marine highway that coastal residents and businesses rely on” said Gary Holman, New Democrat spokesperson on BC Ferries. “The ferry system in British Columbia is a vital piece of economic infrastructure, not just for coastal B.C., but for the entire economy. The B.C. Liberal skyrocketing fares have hurt families and businesses. The Christy Clark government must prove that they finally understand the importance of our ferry system by getting our federal government involved with ferries on the West Coast again.”

Before the election in October, the federal government turned away BC Ferries’ applications for infrastructure money to support terminal upgrades and a new vessel. What’s more, Marine Atlantic ferries enjoy a $493 per-passenger federal subsidy, while BC Ferries receives only $1.41 per passenger.

“Minister Stone has a great opportunity to meet with our new federal government and correct a longstanding imbalance,” Holman said. “After years of rising fares and shrinking service, British Columbians living on the coast can’t be let down by the Christy Clark government again.”