Two tier electricity pricing hits North Island hard

BC Hydro’s two tier pricing is leaving many people in the North Island with extremely high bills and for some that means the possibility of disconnection. North Island MLA, Claire Trevena, has written to the BC Utilities Commission to urge a review of the policy for those communities where there is no option to BC Hydro and electricity. “My office hears from numerous people who are facing massive bills because they have gone into the second tier. But for many people there is no choice – it is electricity or nothing,” said Trevena. “The BC Liberals have increased the cost of hydro to untenable levels; they’ve taken away retrofit programmes which helped bring down the cost. All that’s left are massive bills for people who are already under pressure.” Trevena says she recognizes that two tier pricing is supposed to reduce consumption but that does not help people who have no alternative fuel source. She is asking BCUC to find an alternate system for those who rely solely on BC Hydro for p
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Liberal transportation plan is no plan at all

The B.C. Liberals’ so-called 10-year transportation plan is little more than a collection of nice pictures, vague comments and fact boxes, say the New Democrats. “Only a Christy Clark government would call this a plan,” said Claire Trevena, New Democrat spokesperson for transportation. “It’s insulting to the people of B.C.” Trevena said it fails to address how the B.C. Liberals will correct years of mismanagement in many important parts of our transportation infrastructure, including with BC Ferries, the Port Mann bridge and urgent upgrades to Highway 1.  There is little new in it and despite being called a 10-year plan, has timelines for only for some projects and only for three years. “How can anyone take these documents seriously when the Liberals didn’t bother to keep the promises they made in their last 10-year plan?” Trevena asked. “The new plan doesn’t even address the outstanding commitments from the last one. “It’s been more than a decade since the Liberals starting making emp
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Call for improved communications from north island MLA

Improvements in communications are vital for the economic and social health of our communities as well as for safety, according to North Island MLA Claire Trevena. She is urging both Telus and the Ministry of Technology and Citizen Services to step up and ensure north island communities receive equity in service. She has written to request action on broadband internet, cell service and pagers. “It’s 2015 and we are falling behind,” said Trevena. “I regularly hear about the lack of cell coverage on our major highways – 19 and 28 – and another accident highlighted how desperate that need is. “And we know we are getting improved internet service to Port McNeill, but Port Hardy and Port Alice also need to have broadband. It allows access to education, to healthcare, to economic opportunities. “This is as important to communities as electrification once was. Our communities are no less deserving than the south island or lower mainland.” Trevena is also raising with both Telus and the govern
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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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