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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Ferry users to pay even more starting today as B.C. Liberals continue to fail on ferries

As ferry users face another blow to affordability today, New Democrats are calling on the B.C. Liberal government to take action to save B.C.’s critical ferry system. “Today, many ferry users are paying 100 per cent more than they were in 2003, when the B.C. Liberals brought in the Coastal Ferry Act. But while the Liberal government has acknowledged that fares are beyond a breaking point, they are still neglecting this escalating problem, sitting on their hands while this situation gets worse,” said New Democrat ferries critic Claire Trevena. Between the 3.5-per-cent fuel surcharge that comes into effect today, and the planned 4-per-cent fare hike coming April 1, ferry fares will jump by an average of 7.5 per cent over three months. “For more than a decade, the Liberal government has watched as fares have risen, ridership has fallen, and both debt and exorbitant executive salaries ballooned at B.C. Ferries. Now, we are seeing the devastating results of this Liberal mismanagement, and s
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Ferry users face another blow as fuel surcharge adds to 2014 fare hikes

The announcement of another fuel surcharge means ferry fares will rise by more than seven per cent in the next three months, and that hike will be a significant blow to coastal communities and the provincial economy, say New Democrats. “As if a four per cent ferry fare hike coming in April wasn’t enough, B.C. Ferries users will now be hit with a 3.5 per cent fuel surcharge starting this month,” said New Democrat ferries critic Claire Trevena. “Since the Liberals have been mismanaging our ferry system, fares on some routes have risen by more than 100 per cent. Transportation Minister Todd Stone needs to stop proposing short-sighted cuts and fix this critical system.” Trevena says these increases come alongside more bad news for affordability across the province. On Jan. 1, MSP premiums rose for the fifth year in a row, while tolls on the Port Mann Bridge doubled. In April, hydro rates will jump by nine per cent. “Families in B.C. are struggling to make ends meet, and yet the Liberal gov
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Ferry service cuts will be devastating, coastal communities tell B.C. Liberals

In meetings that will wrap up Wednesday evening, people in the coastal communities affected by the Liberal government’s ferry service cuts have exposed these cuts as reckless and short-sighted, say New Democrats. “Unlike Transportation Minister Todd Stone, I attended many of these events, as did my fellow MLAs,” said New Democrat ferries critic Claire Trevena. “We saw overwhelming frustration in these communities – frustration at a process that has not given them a say in decisions that will impact the future of their communities, and frustration that this Liberal government seems not to understand the long-term economic implications, or even the short-term human implications, of these cuts.” In an editorial published last week, Stone noted that he sees these cuts, which will mean the end of 7,000 round-trip sailings per year, as an “opportunity” for private sector companies, unlike “some” who “may choose to see these reductions in service provided by B.C. Ferries as a negative.” “Peop
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Even B.C. Liberal MLAs starting to speak out against reckless cuts to B.C. Ferries

VICTORIA — With residents in communities up and down the coast rising up against the B.C. Liberals’ reckless cuts to routes serving ferry-dependent communities, at least one government MLA is finally speaking up.   “West Vancouver-Sea to Sky MLA Jordan Sturdy failed to stand up for his constituents on Bowen Island who will lose 274 annual sailings, and Don McRae had nothing to say about cuts to routes in the Comox Valley, despite the fact that Denman Islanders will see a loss of 1,310 sailings to and from the island,” said New Democrat ferries critic Claire Trevena. “The only Liberal willing to point out how reckless and damaging these cuts are is from the Interior.”   Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett is publicly questioning the Liberals’ reckless cut of the Discovery Coast route connecting Port Hardy, mid coast ports and Bella Bella. She told her local media, “Right now my concern is that cutting the ferry in 2014 will be devastating to the tourism industry and small businesses.”  
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Ferries critic reports on Washington State ferry system

The B.C. Liberals need to turn our ferry system around, and the first step is recognizing that this system is a key part of our transportation infrastructure, say New Democrats. In October, New Democrat ferries critic Claire Trevena toured the Washington State ferry system, which, as compared to B.C. Ferries, maintains far better affordability for users and more modest pay for executives, and which saw a growth in ridership last year. Trevena released a report of her findings today. “Washington State’s ferry system is by no means perfect, and it is facing many of the same challenges and rising expenses that our system is facing. But there is a key difference, and that is the acceptance in Washington State that ferries are extensions of the highway system. They are even referred to as ‘mobile bridges,’” said Trevena. “This is a stark contrast to the B.C. Liberal approach. Since bringing in the Coastal Ferry Act in 2003, the Liberal government has run a critical transportation system lik
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Liberals gambling on future of B.C. Ferries

The Liberal government has announced deep cuts to ferry routes, a callous cut to seniors’ discounts and plans to raise extra cash through slot machines, once again showing they don’t understand the critical importance of B.C.’s ferry system, say New Democrats. “For years, we have been pressing the government to create a long-term vision for B.C. Ferries,” said New Democrat ferries critic Claire Trevena. “Today, we got a frightening look at that long-term vision – a ferry system run like a corporate cruise line, with out-of-control fares, dropping ridership, exorbitant pay for executives, insufficient services on all but the busiest routes, and a culture that values slot-machine players over families.” These cuts follow last week’s announcement that rather than scrapping bonuses for B.C. Ferries executives, the Liberals had signed off on a plan that would allow executives and managers to continue to receive their bonuses as part of their salaries, said Trevena. “The Liberal government h
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