New Democrats fighting for coastal communities

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VICTORIA – B.C.’s New Democrats stood up for residents of coastal communities Tuesday as several hundred British Columbians gathered at the legislature to protest the B.C. Liberals’ reckless cuts to ferry services.

“Busloads of people came here hoping for some answers from the B.C. Liberals. But the ferries minister wouldn’t even meet with them,” said New Democrat ferries critic Claire Trevena. “The minister promised to ‘look people in the eyes’ and explain his service cuts. But every time he has an opportunity to do so, he sends someone else or no one at all.”

In the legislature, Trevena and fellow New Democrats pressed the B.C. Liberals for answers after an economic impact study by the City of Prince Rupert found that the government’s ferry service cuts could cause “serious and widespread damage to the northern B.C. economy.”

Trevena added that when Christy Clark was a talk radio host, she raised important concerns about the B.C. Liberals’ mismanagement of the ferry system, but now that she can do something about It, she has turned her back on coastal communities.

In 2008, Clark said: “How long before the provincial government abandons their responsibility to provide a public service to many of the people who depend on the ferries to travel or ship their goods?” and asked, “Why don’t they apply the same math to the highways that they build and then maintain than they do to the ferry routes?”

Christy Clark and the B.C. Liberals refuse to acknowledge that ferries are our marine highway. Our economy and our coastal communities depend on an accessible, affordable ferry system,” said Trevena.