We deserve to know our ferry changes were worth it


Tuesday, May 19 2015

More propwash from BC Ferries.

The fact that the company will not be held to task in finding $4.9 million in service cuts to make to the major routes is not on BC Ferries. That’s on the province and the Transportation Minister Todd Stone.

It’s a mockery of all the hard work and sacrifice made by communities serviced by minor routes, but the mocking is coming from the government, not BC Ferries.

What is propwash, and squarely around the feet of BC Ferries executives, is the decision seemingly already made to not state how much the service cuts made to minor routes in 2014 are actually saving, or not saving, as the case may be.

Every community, from Haida Gwaii to Galiano, deserves to know whether their contribution (of any kind) to “the greater good” actually means something. And how much each ‘route’ contributed to the greater good.

We deserve to know because if people having to move off Gabriola due to no longer having a 5:30 sailing to Nanaimo  have sacrificed their island life so the rest of us can still have it, it matters.

We deserve to know because some of us have children now going to bed at 10:00 p.m. because the first ferry returning after their gymnastics or swimming lesson ends in Nanaimo leaves at 9:00 p.m.

We deserve to know because our senior citizens are now paying to use the ferry, while the corporation pockets 50 per cent of the monies which used to cover the senior fares.

We deserve to know. Period.

To not tell us makes us think either:

• the cuts weren’t enough, and we can look forward to more (which thanks to cross-subsidized routes means there probably should be some service cuts on the major routes) or;

• the cuts were too much, and BCF is afraid we’re going to ask for some of those services to be returned.

Either way, we deserve to know.