General · 10th December 2013
Last night I was musing on the fact that I was not able to stay overnight on Quadra and get to the BC Ferries Community Engagement meeting when a headline from the Dec 5th issue of The Comox Valley Record caught my eye. “Denman, Hornby ferry fares up by 304 per cent”! The article shows how in the last 10 years, fares for the Campbell River to Quadra run have gone up 290% and Quadra to Cortes by 218%. Since then, BC Ferries has revised its number to read for the interval from 2003 to 2013; Buckley Bay-Denman- Hornby 83%, CR-Quadra 81% and Quadra-Cortes 76%. Obviously some number cruncher made a mistake but still...
Wow! I thought to myself. BC Ferries really is on track and on budget to implement the GREEN PLAN that I wrote about a few years back. Here is the article I posted Nov 24, 2007. The story is the same but it is worth repeating. Only the names of the bureaucrats have changed.
I was listening to CBC radio’s “On The Island” Wednesday morning Nov 21st and the host asked Environment Minister Penner what BC Ferries might do to reduce CO2 emissions. I just wanted to point out that the BC Ferry Corporation is already working hard to achieve this.
I have in my hand a ferry receipt for a vehicle and driver fare from Campbell River to Cortes Island from 3 days ago in the amount of $49.90. I have another one for the same trip dated Nov 25th, 2005 for $39.50. That’s a 26% increase in just 2 years. Imagine paying $50 anytime you wanted to see a movie or needed professional services or to buy bulk or specialty items not available on the island. Well many islanders cannot afford this and are now car pooling on the ferry, making use of couriers or simply just not going to town as often. This results in a reduction of vehicle tail pipe emissions.
It won’t be long before increased ferry fares will seriously damage the tourism flow to the island and the oyster flow off of the island. These two industries are the backbone of the Cortes economy and once our livelihoods are affected, we’ll have even less money for ferry trips off the island thereby reducing CO2 even more. The plan is indeed ingenious. My guess is that the BC Ferry Corporation will continue to implement this GREEN PLAN until ferry traffic drops off enough that they can tie the ship up for most of the day and lay off the crew. Now we’re talking serious C02 reductions! Minister Penner, please give BC Ferries CEO David Hahn a pat on the back and tell him to keep up the good work on behalf of all of us trying to make a living out here on the Gulf Islands.
Minister Penner, remember when Ferries used to be part of the Department of Highways? How about privatizing the whole highways system? That way you could build toll booths everywhere and make it so expensive to drive that the economy really slows and everyone stays home. No movement means no emissions. We have to think big to save the planet!