BC Ferries Adds Additional Sailings

North Coast Liberal Candiate Herb Pond says the additional bi-weekly round trip between Skidegate and Prince Rupert is an encouraging step towards making progress; however it’s just the first phase toward a long road of work.

Pond says transportation networks are what allow people to build economies and communities-- whenever transportation networks are insufficient, it impacts how communities grow.

“In the case of Haida Gwaii, it’s affected how people get back and forth for health care—it’s driven up their costs for being able to come over and access health care, it’s created real blockages in the tourism industry. How can you build your tourism business when the pipeline that’s feeding you tourists is already limited?” says Pond.

Pond acknowledges the cost of a ferry ride can be steep for some intends to take that message to Victoria.

On the other hand North Coast New Democrat Jennifer Rice says it’s another example the government took something away and deprived coastal communities of economic opportunity only to give it back right before an election. She adds it’s another scheme attempting to make people forget about the years of neglect of the Christy Clarke government.

Rice adds the fact that fares have gone up over 100%-- it make a ferry travel less obtainable and out of reach for many coastal communities.

“When they talk about the ferry system, the BC Liberals talk about it under the lens of tourism, forgetting that coastal communities depend on ferries—that this is about getting to work, this is about getting to school, this is about connecting with your family, it’s not just about tourism,” says Rice.

Rice says Rice says families are suffering particularly in remote communities.