The Chemainus BC Ferry Terminal is scheduled for renovations. Will federal infrastructure funding help with the costs?

The Chemainus BC Ferry Terminal is scheduled for renovations. Will federal infrastructure funding help with the costs?

Federal funding sought to keep BC Ferries afloat

Calling on the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to allow BC Ferries access to federal infrastructure grant funding.

Vancouver Island and North Coast NDP MPs are calling on the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to allow BC Ferries access to federal infrastructure grant funding.

“BC Ferries is a critical transportation link for Island residents but years of dramatic fare increases have had a devastating impact on our coastal communities,” said Murray Rankin, MP for Victoria.

“The coastal ferry system is a key transportation link like roads and bridges and should be treated the same when it comes to federal infrastructure grants.”

All of Vancouver Island’s MPs, including Sheila Malcolmson in Nanaimo-Ladysmith and Alistair MacGregor in Cowichan-Malahat-Langford, have added their names to the request.

Malcolmson and MacGregor both called for access to infrastructure funding during the September-October federal election campaign. “We will make ferry infrastructure, including terminals and fleets, an eligible category for federal funding under the New Building Canada Fund,”  Malcolmson said.

Conservative candidate Mark MacDonald said during the campaign that BC Ferries “is eligible for Build Canada funding for all their shore-based facilities.”

But the post-election call for infrastructure funding urges the Liberal government to take a new tack. “The former Conservative government stood by while ferry fares skyrocketed for Island residents,” Rankin said. “We are reaching out to this new government and asking them to demonstrate an understanding of the challenges facing our coastal communities.”

This could be a test of the Liberal promise to treat regions like Vancouver Island, which have not elected Liberals to the House of Commons, fairly.

Comparisons have been made between the heavily subsidized ferry routes on the east coast, but those subsidies have been claimed as an obligation because they are interprovincial, whereas BC Ferries’ routes are not.

In his response to a Chronicle question about infrastructure funding Liberal candidate Tim Tessier did not mention BC Ferries among the projects and services that might be funded.

The Chronicle has asked for clarification from the NDP on several points, including:

• How much funding they think might be available for BC Ferries through federal infrastructure grants;

If the Province of British Columbia supports the use of federal infrastructure funding for BC Ferries projects;

• If there should be restrictions on the types of projects funded, since part of the Liberal rationale for infrastructure investments is job creation in Canada.

 

Just Posted

Kate Cram and her team at Old Town Ice Cream are thrilled to be open for business. (Cole Schisler photo)
Old Town Ice Cream opens up right on time for summer

Located at 539 1st Avenue, Old Time Ice Cream is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Volunteers Alex Cook, Ron Dashwood, and Bill Drysdale have been hard at work restoring the old Ladysmith train station. (Cole Schisler photo)
Train station restoration on track for future community open house

Community is asked to give feedback on what they think the best use is for the station

Chemainus Indigenous Peoples Weekend organizer Connie Crocker. (Photo submitted)
Chemainus Indigenous Peoples Weekend online June 19-21

Event’s been in the planning stages since February without knowing COVID implications

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Karl and Stephanie Ann Johanson were thrilled to spot a pair of Sandhill Cranes in the Panama Flats this month, an unusual appearance for such birds. (Photo by Stephanie Ann Johanson)
WATCH: Sandhill cranes an unusual, joyful sight in South Island parkland

These birds don’t often touch down on their way between northern B.C. and Mexico

(V.I. Trail/Google Maps)
Now 90% complete, Vancouver Island trail forges new funding parnership

Victoria Foundation takes on Vancouver Island Trail Association; fund valued at $40,000

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Freighters have becomd abundant in the Trincomali Channel on the east side of Thetis Island.
Nanaimo ponders taking on waste from nearby anchored freighters

Vancouver-based Tymac petitioning the Regional District of Nanaimo to accept waste at its landfill

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Most Read