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General News · 13th February 2009
Claire Trevena, MLA
Feb. 12, 2009

North Island MLA Claire Trevena is calling for a reversal of plans to cut ferry service on smaller routes

BC Ferries has drastically reduced the number of passengers who are allowed to travel on Route 25, the tri-island ferry which links Alert Bay, Sointula and Port McNeill. The move is likely going to be replicated on other smaller ferry routes.

“This is a massive reduction in service for communities that rely on the ferry system,” said Trevena. “It will have an impact on those communities every day and a severe impact at times of potlaches, funerals, festivals and during the short, but vital, tourist season.

“The argument that BC Ferries is giving is that the only solution would be to raise the fares in order to hire extra crew is simply specious. The ferry system is part of the marine highway; it is there to serve the people who live in all coastal communities, whether they are in Alert Bay, in Nanaimo, or even Vancouver.

“People who live in smaller communities should not be penalised by having their ferry service cut or their fares increased for access to part of BC’s infrastructure.”

Trevena said the decision further undermines the viability of our communities that are already struggling through difficult times.

She is asking the Minster of Transportation, Kevin Falcon, to intervene with BC Ferries on behalf of the communities who rely on the ferry system.
Why Not Cuts ?
Comment by Robert Carter on 17th February 2009
I know it´s an unpopular position in this age of entitlements but exactly why should Cortes and other island communities be dependent on heavy subsidies to have car ferries ? Why not cancel some underutilized sailings in order to keep the prices down ? And I don´t get how travelling to festivals can be considered an essential service. And how did first nations people get to their Potlatches in the past ? Surely not on a BC Ferry.
The bottom line is that living on islands has never been convenient or easy and we shouldn´t be encouraging more traffic and population by making it easy and cheap to get here. Just my two cents.....have at it !