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General News · 7th February 2011
Claire Trevena
The B.C. Liberals continue to leave families to fend for themselves as B.C. Ferries CEO David Hahn threatens fare hikes of up to 100 per cent over the next four years, say the New Democrats.

“Since 2003, there has not been any vision or focus on keeping fares affordable for coastal families and businesses,” said North Island MLA Claire Trevena. “The B.C. Liberal promise of stable fares is just another in the very long list of broken promises.”

“The fact of the matter is, fares have skyrocketed out of control since the B.C. Liberals privatized our ferries in 2003,” said New Democrat ferry critic Gary Coons, “and now B.C. Ferries is saying there is no relief, and things are about to get a whole lot worse.

B.C. Ferries CEO David Hahn said Thursday “You could be looking at somewhere between a four and five per cent per year price increase for each of the years on the major routes, and it could be somewhere between 12 and 14 per cent on the minor routes, and in the north this will blow everybody away it is 26 per cent…per year for four years.”

“New Democrats have called for a moratorium on ferry fares until a full review of the privatization of B.C. Ferries is conducted,” Coons said. “The review of executive compensation conducted last year was just one small piece of the puzzle, and the CEO’s outrageous compensation still hasn’t been curbed significantly.

“It’s business as usual for the million dollar man at the helm,” said Coons.

“British Columbians deserve a government that will prioritize affordability for families across the province,” said Trevena.

The New Democrat vision for a strong, dynamic economy includes a fair and competitive tax environment, support for small business, fiscal responsibility, a fair minimum wage with predictable increases, and investment in green jobs to diversify our economic base.