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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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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