Thousands sign petition to return BC Ferries to BC Government

File photo.
File photo. BC Ferries

VANCOUVER – More than 21,000 people have signed an online petition calling for control of BC Ferries to be returned to the provincial government.

“Why cannot our provincial government see the value and necessity of support for our “provincial highway” on the coastal waters for our ferry dependent communities?,” the petition reads.

“Inland ferry travel in BC is free. Coastal ferry travel is not.”

The petition, , which was delivered to the Legislature today, states that while highways  and inland ferries around the province are managed by the Ministry of Transportation and the cost added to the provincial debt, control of BC Ferries was transferred to a private company in 2003.

“It’s not working,” said petition organizer Laural Eacott, holding the thick stack of papers tabled at legislature. “It’s just so frustrating to hear that fares are going up again. The ridership is just going to keep dropping.”

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Independent MLA Vicki Huntingdon presented the document and said “B.C.’s ferries are vital and timely to the safe passage of British Columbian and visitor alike. They are crucial to our economic well-being and directly link our major road networks. Ferries have become an extension of our highway structure.”

“Even our capital city is completely reliant on a ferry system to transport food and supplies on a daily basis.”

-with files from Canadian Press