With voting for the B.C. Liberal Party leadership coming, Todd Stone made a stop in Nanaimo on Wednesday. (KARL YU/News Bulletin)

Leadership candidate Stone says he understands how B.C. Liberals need to change

Todd Stone stops in Nanaimo with B.C. Liberal leadership vote looming

Todd Stone stopped in Nanaimo as part of a final push before next week’s B.C. Liberal leadership vote.

The party will choose its next leader between Feb. 1-3 and Stone was in Nanaimo on Wednesday, a day after the final debate. The former transportation minister met with the News Bulletin to talk about his priorities and a range of topics, including ferries.

Ferry fares were rising rapidly and were unsustainable when he became minister four years ago, said Stone, adding that the Liberals were able to get B.C. Ferries on a sustainable path faster than anticipated. The next step is to begin to bring fares down, he said.

“I would like to see a 15-per cent fare reduction on the minor routes as a start, the small and minor routes in the province,” said Stone. “I have talked about waiving reservation fees for B.C. residents as another means to leaving more money in people’s pockets and I do think that we need to look at how, beyond immediate fare reductions on the major routes, what are some other steps that can be taken to reduce the overall cost burden particularly for Vancouver Island and Island residents in general with respect to the dependence that is real for a lot of residents in coastal [B.C.]”

Stone said the major routes have seen significant improvements in terms of vessel upgrades, schedule enhancements and service improvements on board, although there is room for improvement in terms of reliable high-speed internet access.

“Ultimately, the goal is to begin to see fares on the major routes begin to come down as well,” said Stone. “This all has to be done within the context of ensuring that the corporation remains sustainable over the long term and seeing very significant investments in new terminals and new vessels.”

Stone said he will hold the B.C. NDP to their commitments to a ferry fare freeze and making travelling on ferry travel more affordable. He hopes there is an election sooner than later – if the Liberals win, those will be decisions his party would make.

Stone said the B.C. Liberals need a leader who can hold Premier John Horgan and the B.C. NDP accountable for their “terrible mismanagement” and said there are higher taxes and thousands of jobs lost across the province over a span of six months.

“I’ve got a proven track record … we need a leader who understands that the world has changed around us and this province has changed,” said Stone. “The economy’s changed, expectations of British Columbians have changed and our party has to also, building on our track record of good economic management, of course. Our party has to adapt to that change and be willing to embrace renewal and I think I’m the candidate that most embodies the understanding of the kind of change that this party needs to make to adapt to everything that’s going on around us.

“Last, but not least, we need a leader who understands that this party needs to diversify. We need more women, more youth and much more representation of diverse communities in our party in order to be successful in elections moving forward.”


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

UPDATE: Nanaimo woman found safe

Nanaimo RCMP were looking for Amy Lynn Dowell

Summer of our Discontent: homeless camp a contentious issue

City of Nanaimo, tent city going to court this week to settle differences

Application hearing held for Discontent City case

Two-day petition hearing begins July 17

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Enough is enough at Discontent City

I cannot believe that the people of Discontent City even get to have a say, says letter writer

Large suspected ammo found at Cassidy recycling facility

Area businesses voluntarily evacuated

Nanaimo Concert Band to perform at Maffeo Sutton Park

Group will play marches, swing and show tunes at free evening concert

Silly boats make a splash on Nanaimo seas

Superette wins Nanaimo’s Silly Boat Regatta community fundraising event

Florist announces bid for Nanaimo city council

Jim Turley, former owner of Turley’s Florist, intends to run in fall election

VIDEO: Firefighters putting out brush fire in East Wellington

Fire is in the area of a new development under construction near Shady Mile Way

Temperature records break across southern B.C. as heat continues

Whistler broke a 70-year-old record high of 32.2 C with a temperature of 32.9 C

Hawaii volcano boat tours continue after ‘lava bomb’ injuries

“An explosion occurred near the shoreline hurling hot lava rocks towards the boat and injuring several passengers.”

Trump returns from summit with Putin to forceful criticism

“Shameful,” ”disgraceful,” ”weak,” were a few of the comments. Makes the U.S. “look like a pushover,” said GOP Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee.

Obama to deliver Mandela address in likely rebuke to Trump

Former U.S. President Barack Obama Monday praised Kenya’s president and opposition leader for working together but said this East African country must do more to end corruption.

Missing B.C. Serval cat creates buzz online, pleas for help

Aquila, an African Serval, disappeared from a Fernie, B.C. backyard sometime on Friday, July 13.

Most Read