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Islanders balk at fare increases

Texada Action Now calls for changes to Coastal Ferry Act

A community group formed to support the environmental, social and economic fabric of Texada Island, has called for major changes to the Coastal Ferry Act, the legislation which governs operations of BC Ferries.

Texada Action Now (TAN), representing the concerns of 1,000 islanders, notes that while the ferry corporation is promoting vacation packages which “bring the coast within reach,” the reality could not be further from the truth.

“While BC Ferries is paying huge cheques and bonuses to its execs, the cost of using the ferry has gone beyond the reach of many people,” said TAN spokesperson Leslie Goresky. “The Coastal Ferry Act needs changes which recognize that ferries are an essential, fundamental transportation link which connects ferry-dependent communities with the outside world. Ferries are our highways and should be funded as such.”

TAN also called for the service cutbacks slated for April 1 to be delayed until changes can be made to the act and the elimination of fuel surcharges and other added fees which bring ferry fare increases beyond the cost of living.

“Ferry fares are killing coastal communities and government is at fault for letting this happen,” said Goresky. “There are huge negative impacts to ferry-dependent communities of requiring that 92 per cent of operational costs be recovered at the fare box.”