Proposed cut shows B.C. Liberals still not listening to ferry users

Minister of Transportation Todd Stone showed yesterday that he knows what to say, but does what he wants. “Just seven months ago, Minister Stone promised to maintain vehicle service between Horseshoe Bay and Nanaimo. But yesterday we learned that there is a plan in place to review and possibly cut this route,” said New Democrat ferries spokesperson Claire Trevena. When asked in March whether he was considering the cut, Stone replied in the legislature, “there will continue to be vehicle service between Horseshoe Bay and Nanaimo. I don’t know how much more clearly I can say that.” “The minister continually failed to face up to these communities and tell them this cut was being considered. It seems nothing has changed since Minister Stone’s last round of ferry service cuts, when he promised he would ‘look people in the eyes’ and give them an explanation – then sent his staff to talk to affected communities.” The B.C. Liberals are promising a consultation on the proposed cut, but Tr
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Report shows B.C. Liberal ferry policies are costing the province

A report released today shows that B.C. Liberal hikes to ferry fares are causing economic damage across the province, say the New Democrats. “This new report does the work the government should have done years ago. It connects the dots between fare hikes, falling ridership numbers, and the loss of economic activity and tax dollars,” said New Democrat ferries spokesperson Claire Trevena. “The conclusion that it reaches is that the B.C. Liberal policy for ferries is a complete and utter failure. And that means a failure for the whole of the province, not just coastal communities and those dependent on ferries.” The report, Boatswains to the Bollards: A Socioeconomic Impact Analysis of BC Ferries, was commissioned by the Union of B.C. Municipalities and the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities. The report found that due to skyrocketing fares between 2003 and 2013, B.C. Ferries lost out on a 19 per cent growth in passenger volume, which would have added $2.3 billion to t
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Op-ed: Workers in Poland, not B.C., will benefit from ferry-building deal

Just three years ago, Premier Christy Clark told British Columbians our provincial shipbuilding industry was on the rise – so much so, she suggested, we may never have to build another ferry outside our province. “One of the ways that we are going to make sure that we get the best value for taxpayers in building B.C. ferries is by building a strong, viable shipbuilding industry here in British Columbia that has an economy of scale,” the premier told reporters. “Once we build that, it’s not just going to be a question of whether or not we’re building B.C. ferries here. We want to be building ferries for countries all over the world here.” Less than three years later, Clark and her government seem to have forgotten the big plans for B.C.’s shipbuilders. British Columbia Ferry Services Inc. announced last week that three intermediate class ferries will be built by Remontowa Shipbuilding SA in Poland. These three vessels are just a small part of a fleet that is due for major renewal in the
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B.C. Hydro’s Energy Saving Kit Doesn’t Make Up for 28 per cent rate increase

The B.C. Liberals’ new energy saving kit won’t do enough to help North Island families who are struggling to afford the Liberals’ 28 per cent hydro rate hike, says Claire Trevena, North Island MLA. Trevena said that B.C. Hydro receives more calls from the North Island about excessive hydro rates and disconnections than anywhere else in the province. And as a result, it has sent nine of its new energy saving kits to her Campbell River community office. “We get hundreds of people approaching my office every year because they cannot deal with high hydro rates,” said Trevena. “They are facing the stress and anxiety of disconnection and that’s only going to get worse with the 28 per cent rate hike.” The free kit includes such items as energy saving light bulbs, tap aerators, window insulator film and foam weather strip. “These energy saving kits may do something to help a few people, but they do not deal with the fact that the B.C. Liberals have so grossly mismanaged our public utility and
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B.C. Liberals give up on creating jobs by not building ferries in B.C.

The B.C. Liberals have given up on the idea of creating jobs by not building new B.C. ferries at home, say New Democrats. “Building three new ferries is going to create a lot of good jobs in Poland that could have been filled by British Columbians,” said New Democrat ferries critic Claire Trevena. “The B.C. Liberals should have a plan in place to ensure that contracts like this worth hundreds of millions of dollars will create jobs here in B.C. and benefit our shipbuilding industry.” B.C. Ferries announced Thursday that three intermediate class ferries will be built by Remontowa Shipbuilding S.A. in Poland. Trevena pointed out the three ships are just a small part of a fleet that is due for major renewal in the coming years. “This is an industry that creates good jobs for British Columbians. We should be doing everything we can to help it thrive, but the B.C. Liberals are doing nothing.” New Democrats introduced the Provincial Shipbuilding Act in the legislature in May, which pushed fo
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Provincial Shipbuilding Act would benefit province’s economy, create jobs

Legislation introduced today would nurture B.C.’s shipbuilding industry, benefit the province’s economy, and create jobs, say the B.C. New Democrats. “If passed, the Provincial Shipbuilding Act would ensure that ferries, seabuses and any other vessels used by or for the public are built in Canada and have the opportunity to provide direct economic benefits here in B.C.,” said New Democrat ferries critic Claire Trevena, adding that the bill would also see a provincial shipbuilding strategy developed. “B.C. Ferries will be replacing 26 ferries over the next 15 years. If these ferries were built in this province, we would see tremendous growth in this industry. But this would require a commitment from the Liberal government that we have not seen to date. In the past decade, we have added five new vessels to the B.C. Ferries fleet, and none have been built here.” The bill would also support an expanded provincial apprenticeship program with a requirement that at least 15 per cent of the la
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Cutting A Lifeline

Watch Claire on This Week In BC’s programme – Cutting A Lifeline https://vimeo.com/89060061
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B.C. Liberals will ignore coastal residents, go ahead with reckless cuts

The B.C. Liberal government has ignored the pleas of thousands of British Columbians and announced it will go ahead with reckless ferry service cuts that will hurt the province’s economy and seriously impact coastal communities. “Today, the B.C. Liberals have proven that their so-called consultations with coastal communities were just window dressing on a done deal. People came out in good faith to tell their government how these cuts would affect their lives and their communities, but now we know that no one was listening,” said New Democrat ferries critic Claire Trevena. “Certainly the transportation minister wasn’t. Despite his promise to ‘look people in the eyes’ when these cuts were discussed, Todd Stone didn’t even bother to show up to a single one of these meetings.” Trevena says the government has broken faith with people in coastal communities by implementing devastating cuts without first studying their economic and social impact. “I have heard hundreds of painful stories abo
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Letter to Minister of Health regarding bed numbers at Campbell River Hospital

Dear Minister Lake, Once again Campbell River hospital is overflowing with patients. According to medical staff there have been almost 100 people admitted during the day. The census for the existing hospital is less than 80; for our new hospital 97. Patients who were about to have emergency surgery have been transferred to Nanaimo and Duncan because of the lack of space. While you argue that the new configuration will mean the Campbell River and Comox Valley hospitals will operate as one, it still leaves the reality that they have been designed with too little bed space. I would again ask whether there can be a reconsideration of bed numbers at the new hospital, before bids are finalized and construction begins? If this is for some reason absolutely impossible I would urge that the newer sections of our existing Campbell River hospital be maintained and used effectively to minimize pressure on the new facility. I look forward to your response. Yours sincerely, Claire Trevena, MLA (Nort
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Ferry users invited to send an SOS to the B.C. Liberals

The B.C. New Democrats want to hear about the real costs of service cuts at B.C. Ferries. At a new website launched today – BCFerriesSOS.ca - ferry users can share their own stories about how the cuts will affect them and their families. “Since these service cuts were announced in November, I have heard hundreds of stories about the real effects they will have, and they are staggering,” said New Democrat ferries critic Claire Trevena. “I’ve heard everything from tourism operators whose businesses are being put in jeopardy, to seniors who will suffer from less accessible medical services, to professionals who will have to leave their communities because these cuts will mean they can’t get to work.” Trevena said she wants to be sure that every ferry user has a chance to tell the B.C. Liberal government what will be lost if these cuts, scheduled for implementation in April, go ahead. “The B.C. Liberal government did not bother to find out what impact these changes would have on coas
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