MLA Jordan Sturdy needs to explain Liberal failure on ferries

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VICTORIA– West Vancouver-Sea to Sky MLA Jordan Sturdy needs to stand up for his constituents and tell his government to reverse its cuts to critical ferry routes in B.C., say New Democrats.

“As parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Transportation – who was specifically given the ferries file – Mr. Sturdy should be accountable for his ministry’s decision this week to cut 7,000 sailings per year in an effort to make up money lost in a decade of mismanagement,” said New Democrat ferries critic Claire Trevena.

Trevena noted that some of these cuts will be made in Sturdy’s own constituency, where 274 sailings annually will be cut from the Langdale-Horseshoe Bay and Horseshoe Bay-Bowen Island routes.

She added that Sturdy has been closely involved with the plan, and was sent to meet with district representatives to discuss service cuts.

“I’d like to see Jordan Sturdy explain to the residents he is supposed to represent on Bowen Island how this is an improvement. He should know that ferries are a critical piece of our provincial infrastructure – they are the lifelines of coastal communities, and their reliability and accessibility are key to B.C.’s economy. Yet his government has mismanaged the ferry system and their only answer is cuts to communities, rising fares, and slashing seniors discounts.”

“Recently, Mr. Sturdy’s ministry failed even in the simple task of pressing the corporation to roll back executive bonuses. Instead, their so-called solution means executives and managers will continue to receive their bonuses as part of their salaries,” said Trevena.

“A week later, the government announced the biggest cut ever to our province’s ferry services. People in coastal communities won’t accept these careless cuts and half measures in the place of real change at B.C. Ferries, and they need to let Mr. Sturdy know that.”

Trevena is urging residents to attend the government’s public open house tonight at Bowen Island Community School, 5-8 p.m., to express their concerns.