Rising ferry fares concern regional district chairs
Chairs of nine coastal regional districts met last week in Powell River with Blair Lekstrom, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, to discuss BC Ferry Corporation fare increases.
They also called for a major revision of the Coastal Ferry Act.
Colin Palmer, chair of the Powell River Regional District, organized the meeting that represented 2.9 million people or 63 per cent of B.C.'s population.
The group said the Act's original objectives have not been met, and presented evidence of ways increased fares are damaging island and coastal communities.
Comox Valley Regional District chair Edwin Grieve could not attend due to a scheduling conflict. He plans to attend a follow-up meeting next month in Vancouver.
"What I see is the main issue are all the smaller routes, because they're bearing the brunt of this whole thing," Grieve said. "I do think that, in the end, we're probably going to see BC Ferries do some adjustments on it. There is quite a public outcry. It doesn't seem fair that the smaller runs are so dependent on the ferry system."
Grieve hopes the corporation will come up with something more equitable for residents at places such as Hornby Island where two ferries are needed just to buy groceries or visit the doctor.