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General · 8th January 2014
Jef Keighley
At every one of the recently concluded BC Ferries Community Engagement meetings across 20 coastal communities, November 20 through December 11, citizens expressed their anger and disbelief over the provincial government’s mismanagement of BC Ferries and their proposed service cuts and additional fare increases. The BC Ferry Coalition is fighting back! We are bringing together Local governments, First Nations, Chambers of Commerce, Labour, economic development and tourism agencies, business and residents. Our objective is to create a unified voice to tell the BC government to put our ferry system on an affordable, reliable and sustainable course for all ferry users.

The BC Ferry Coalition is asking you to write a personalized letter to Premier Christy Clark to express how the proposed BC Ferries service cuts and escalating fares will impact you, your family and your community. Politicians pay attention to personalized letters, especially when received in large volumes. Your letter can make a difference! Don’t delay. Write today! Ask the Premier specific questions and tell her you expect specific answers. Ask your family, friends and colleagues to do the same. Flood the Premier’s desk with mail!

Tell the Premier to listen and put all of the proposed service cuts and fare increases on hold and that the Province should cooperate with coastal communities to conduct open and transparent comprehensive needs assessments in every ferry dependent community and listen to what our communities actually want and need from our marine highways. Then re-design BC Ferries to deliver that service.

Tell the Premier to listen to BC Ferry users whose working lives are being made ever more difficult by changing schedules, service cuts and fare increases. Commuters working away from their home communities need reliable and regular schedules to be able to make long-term employment commitments and support their families.

Tell the Premier that ferry fares are too high making it more difficult for families to maintain their connections with other family members and friends. Tell her that the already excessive fares are strangling our coastal economies and seriously damaging our social fabric. Tell her that ferry fares should be reduced substantially which will boost ridership and help reinvigorate coastal economies and communities.
Tell the Premier that BC Ferries is both a vital public service and an economic generator for the entire province and should be managed for the whole province.

Tell the Premier that BC Ferries are our marine highways and you support the principle of fiscal fairness. Provincial highways and our inland ferries are free to all users. Coastal residents should not have to pay both our fair share of the provincial highways budget plus an increasingly disproportionate share of BC Ferries costs.

Tell the Premier that the 10-year experiment with BC Ferries as a quasi-independent corporation is a failure. BC Ferries should be bought back under more direct provincial government control. All of its capital assets – the shore facilities, the fleet and replacement vessels and their financing costs - should be owned and funded as part of the provincial highways budget. The operating budget should be financed through substantially reduced fares.

Tell the Premier that BC’s seniors and First Nations Elders should be respected. The vast majority of our Seniors and Elders live on modest fixed incomes and can ill afford the mean-spirited proposed 50% in the Seniors Travel Discount. They built this province. They should not be made pawns in a provincial government accounting game. The Seniors’ Travel Discount should be expanded rather than reduced.

Write the Premier at:
Premier Christy Clark,
P.O. Box 9041,
Stn Prov Govt,
Victoria, BC V8W 9E1
Tel: 250 387-1715
Fax: 250 387-0087
Email: premiergov.bc.ca

Send Copies to:
Adrian Dix – Opposition Leader
5022 Joyce Street,
Vancouver, BC V5R 4G6
Tel: 604 660-0314
Email: adrian.dix.mlaleg.bc.ca

Also send copies of your letters to:
Your own MLA – find your MLA at http://www.leg.bc.ca/mla/3-1-7.htm
BC Ferry Coalition – mailbcferrycoalition.com
Your local newspaper as a Letter to the Editor – Check their maximum word limit and work within those limits.