B.C. seeks ways to ease ferry fare hikes

New ferries have added costs to the BC Ferries fleet. Fares are going up across the fleet

VICTORIA – BC Ferries isn’t allowed to use revenue from its busy routes to prevent steeper increases on the smaller island and northern runs.

That is one of the regulations imposed by the B.C. government in 2003 that is being reviewed by Gordon Macatee, the new B.C. Ferry Commissioner. Another is the mandate to move toward a user-pay system, which has resulted in fuel surcharges along with higher fares on BC Ferries’ 25 salt-water routes.

Transportation Minister Blair Lekstrom said he has heard loud and clear from ferry users that they’ve had enough of big increases, and he wants “a primary focus on affordability” to consider tourism and other business as well as residents.

BC Ferries CEO David Hahn has said the mandate of the quasi-independent Crown corporation and its current public subsidy could result in a doubling of rates for some routes in the coming years, and substantial increases across the fleet.

Lekstrom said he doesn’t accept that, but he wouldn’t comment on the possibility of increasing the provincial subsidy.

BC Ferries is returning to fuel surcharges in June as fuel prices have soared, and has requested rate increases for next spring. Lekstrom said the fuel surcharges will go ahead.

BC Ferries is seeking rate increases of about four per cent on major routes and eight per cent on others to take effect next year. Lekstrom said he is considering legislation to allow temporary relief before the spring legislative session ends June 2.

Macatee’s review is to be complete at the end of September.

Just Posted

Finals set for senior curling championship

Bill van Yzerloo and Lisa Deputan teams win bronze, Craig and Cowan rinks headed to the finals

Firefighters extinguish early-morning blaze in Rossland

Neighbour alerted family of four, no injuries reported

Rescued snowmobilers ill-prepared for emergency, Castlegar RCMP say

Two men rescued Wednesday night were not ready for overnight in back country

Police share more details on occupants and suspicious van in Fruitvale

Vehicle in question offered young girl a ride to school on Feb. 19

VIDEO: Iconic ‘snow cone’ takes shape at B.C. park near Clearwater

Snow cone forming at Wells Gray Provincial Park one that would make Disney’s Queen Elsa proud

Pink Shirt Day a reminder to ‘T.H.I.N.K.’ before posting on social media

‘Be Kind’ message on shirts sold for anti-bullying activities of Wednesday, Feb. 27

A ‘warm embrace’ for grieving parents at funeral of seven young fire victims

Mourners offered love and support to Kawthar Barho, mother of seven children

Indigenous leaders, politicians say Trans Mountain report flawed

The National Energy Board has endorsed an expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline a second time

UPDATE: Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

Legislation to protect B.C. farmland comes into effect

Regulations enhance food security, encourage long-term farming

Have you heard the legend of Shuswaggi, the Shuswap Lake monster?

Witness accounts as old as 1904, and as recent as 2018, place a creature in the lake’s depths

UPDATE: B.C. ticket holder winner of $25.9-million Lotto Max jackpot

Next draw set for Mar. 1 with an estimated jackpot of $10 million

B.C.-based ‘Team Tardi’ brings home gold in junior curling worlds

In a 9-4 victory over Switzerland, a Langley-based curling team earned its 2nd straight world title

Most Read