NDP given petition to bring BC Ferries back under government control


WATCH: There are thousands of signatures on a new petition to bring BC Ferries under the control of the provincial transportation ministry. Tess van Straaten reports.

Ferry advocate Jim Abram has gathered thousands of signatures to bring BC Ferries under the Ministry of Transportation.

“I’m hoping the government will finally see coastal communities are totally fed up with the ferry situation,” says Abram, who is a Strathcona Regional District director. “We’re tired of losing our coastal communities, losing our young people.”

It’s in addition to the 24,000 signatures presented to the former Liberal government and supporters are hoping it will sway the new government to treat coastal ferries like inland ferries, which are under the ministry, as concerns over high fares, long waits and service levels continue to grow.

“I think we deserve the courtesy of being treated like every other transportation system like the roads, like the bridges, like snow removing and pothole filling ? it’s all the same,” says Abram.

The NDP began a comprehensive review of the coastal ferry service in January but it isn’t looking at whether to bring ferries, which were privatized 14 years ago, back into government.

B.C.’s transportation minister says that’s not important to most ferry users.

“They want it to be affordable and accessible running the service they want, they don’t really care where it is housed as long as it’s affordable and accessible,” says Transportation Minister Claire Trevena.

Supporters claim the NDP had promised to return ferries to the government but as the ferry fight heats up, Trevena says that’s not true.

“I have said it is part of the marine highway and I continue to say that,” Trevena says. “It’s part of our marine highway system and we should treat it as such.”

Green Party MLA Adam Olsen presented the new petition in the B.C. Legislature on Monday afternoon and supporters say they’re still hopeful the government will listen.

Tess van StraatenTess van Straaten

Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!