BC ferry service no luxury, says MLA

Alberni-Pacific Rim MLA Scott Fraser crosses swords with Parksville-Qualicum MLA, Michelle Stillwell over BC Ferries.

To the Editor,

I take issue with comments made by Parksville-Qualicum MLA, Michelle Stillwell in No ferry closures, Dec. 12 at www.pqbnews.com.

Ms. Stillwell states: “First, I want to assure everyone that there are no plans to close either the Departure Bay or Duke Point ferry terminals”.  These words are meaningless. There are no plans not to close these terminals either because the Liberals have no long-term plan in place for our ferry system.

Since the government semi-privatized the Crown corporation, the public interest has taken a back seat to a corporate model of high corporate pay structures and an obscene bonus system. Even though the bonuses, allowed by the Liberals, are incorporated directly into the even higher corporate pay structures, the public is still paying via ever increasing fares.

Ms. Stillwell states that the “Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure along with BC Ferries will look to keep ferries affordable, efficient and sustainable”.  This statement is absurd. The reality is that the price point for ridership has been exceeded, ridership has dropped, and the debt has ballooned.

BC Ferries is our marine highway, not a luxury. Any credible long-term plan would recognize the fact and ensure that critical decisions are informed by economic and social impact studies.

Scott Fraser,

MLA,

Alberni-Pacific Rim