Letter: All parties must make ferries an issue during the next provincial election

Wednesday, March 18 2015

Dear Editor,

Never before in the history of public ferry transportation has so much been owed by so few to so many. The Honorable Todd Stone, MLA, has seen fit to ignore the petition of 20,000 Vancouver Islanders handed to him in regard to the costly (and rising) ferry fares. To this he has said, “No, and no changes will be made.” His attitude was one of contempt and disrespect. There is little doubt that this young and inexperienced MLA/minister has not only misinterpreted but has ignored his duties to the public – thus, he must go.

As another point, many ferry passengers have suggested that the ships do not require full dining facilities and that they should have only snack bars. After all, the longest journey for a regular scheduled ferry is two hours (Duke Point-Tsawwassen). 

In order to cut down shipboard costs, many passengers bring paper bag meals with a drink (milk or juice). Many refuse to purchase the pricey shipboard menu items. When one travels with a family of four or more, the overall cost is outrageous.

We know that White Spot Restaurants is the main supplier of meals aboard the ferries. The dining facilities on board a ferry differ completely to that of a White Spot restaurant and thus the ambiance aboard a ferry does not warrant the high prices charged for almost all food items. 

Another item that is worthy of the Minister’s astute attention and which he conveniently avoids, is that the inland ferry runs are operated by BC Ferries at NO CHARGE to passengers and vehicles. If this is not discrimination toward islanders, what is it?

I believe that the time has come when all provincial political parties must take a good look at the ferry situation and it should become an issue during the next provincial election.

At that time, we may hopefully say, “So long, Mr. Stone as you sail into the sunset on your BC Ferries cruise (!?) ship.”

Sincerely, 

~ Peter Eastick