General · 18th May 2011
Honourable Blair Lekstrom, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure
Dear Minister Lekstrom:
British Columbians are dismayed to learn of the announcement of a fuel surcharge being added to ferry tickets in June that will raise fares just two months after the last hike.
In the legislature, New Democrats have regularly raised the issue of skyrocketing fares and the devastating effect they have on our coastal communities. Families can no longer afford to use what is their highway, businesses on the islands are being adversely affected as their costs continue to rise, and there has been an impact on tourism on the islands.
No-one expects to travel on B.C. Ferries for free, but residents in ferry-dependent communities see these frequent and steep hikes as punitive.
Coastal residents rely on ferries the same way Northern residents, like you, rely on our remote highway system, yet there is no charge on highway travel. This is a matter of provincial equity.
While we may disagree on the structure and governance of BC Ferries, we believe it is incumbent on you as Minister of Transportation to intervene in what we feel is a form of (marine) highway robbery.
We urge you to act in the interest of all families, small businesses and coastal communities by ensuring that ferry fares are capped until the impact of fares is analyzed and a full financial review of the privatization of B.C. Ferries is conducted.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Claire Trevena, MLA, North Island
Gary Coons, MLA, North Coast
Harry Bains, MLA, Surrey-Newton
Simons, MLA, Powell River-Sunshine Coast
Leonard Krog, MLA, Nanaimo
Doug Routley, MLA, Nanaimo-North-Cowichan