Comox Valley MLA Don McRae needs to show support for constituents fighting ferry cuts

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COURTENAY – Comox Valley MLA Don McRae should join his constituents in their fight against service cuts to three ferry routes in his constituency, say New Democrats.

“The Liberal government has mismanaged B.C. Ferries for a decade, and now they are asking ferry users to pay the price. Denman Islanders alone will see a cut of 1,310 sailings to and from the island, while the route connecting Comox with Powell River will lose 94 sailings,” said New Democrat ferries critic Claire Trevena.

“The B.C. Liberals would like people in coastal communities to believe that these cuts are the only answer. But the truth is they are a result of a decade of rising fares leading to decreasing ridership, expanding debt, and exorbitant executive bonuses. The Liberals have ignored these growing problems, and now they are trying to fix them with quick and callous cuts rather than serious, long-term solutions.”

Trevena said as minister of social development, Don McRae should know that people in B.C. are struggling to make ends meet, and the government’s approach ignores this reality.

“Scaling back discounts for seniors, and approving years of escalating fares despite the government’s own admission that they have already passed a tipping point, is irresponsible, and will ensure that it is families that bear the burden of a decade of mismanagement,” said Trevena.

“As an MLA representing ferry-dependent communities, Don McRae should also know that ferries are our coastal highway, and cuts like this could seriously impact the future of coastal communities, and the health of the provincial economy. People in the Comox Valley should let their MLA know that they demand better.”

Trevena is urging residents to attend the public open house tonight at Denman Island Community School from 4-7 p.m. to show Don McRae how his government’s cuts are going to hurt their community.