NANAIMO – New Democrat MLAs Sheila Malcolmson and Doug Routley are welcoming increased ferry service on route #19 between Nanaimo and Gabriola, and route #5 between Crofton and Vesuvius, reversing service cuts made by the previous BC Liberal government.
“As a resident of Gabriola, I know first-hand how important ferries are to the health and economy of our coastal communities,” said Sheila Malcolmson, MLA for Nanaimo. “I fought relentlessly against the BC Liberal service cuts in 2014, so I am proud that our government is restoring service on minor routes. And re-establishing the Coastal Ferry Stakeholder panel will make sure our ferry service is working for and with coastal communities.”
“The BC Liberals’ reckless ferry cuts and overall mismanagement had a devastating impact on ferry-dependent communities, especially coastal Indigenous communities,” said Doug Routley, MLA for Nanaimo-North Cowichan. “I am proud to be part of a government that recognizes ferries as an extension of the highway system, and that is working hard to restore affordable, reliable ferry service.”
The New Democrat government is increasing service on 10 ferry routes that were cut in 2014, restoring 2,700 round trip sailings for people living in coastal communities. These service changes come in response to the Redlin report, a comprehensive operating review of the coastal ferry service that identified opportunities to improve services under the current model.
The province will be amending the Coastal Ferry Act to implement some of Mr. Redlin’s recommendations and will also be establishing a new Coastal Ferry Stakeholder group to inform government and improve the delivery of coastal ferry services.
Last April, government improved ferry services by reducing fares on smaller and northern routes by 15%, freezing fares on the major routes and reinstating the 100% discount for seniors’ passenger fares.