Nanaimo-Ladysmith candidates support foot ferry, Island rail

NANAIMO – Federal party candidates target infrastructure priorities for Nanaimo region.

Nanaimo-Ladysmith federal election candidates see major infrastructure projects, such as the foot passenger ferry and passenger rail as priorities for the region.

Paul Manly, Green Party candidate, said a foot passenger ferry will be viable if it’s fast and inexpensive, but all ferry services here should receive federal government subsidies as in the Maritime provinces.

“Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland have a good ferry subsidy based on their deal with Confederation,” Manly said.

Tim Tessier, Liberal candidate, said ferry service to the mainland is “our highway” and is among a growing number of commuters who represent a changing model for ferry service that provincial and federal governments and private business should be partnering to make happen.

“While I love taking the ferry out of here and its a wonderful ride, it’s a model that was designed decades ago and we have to move forward,” Tessier said.

A foot ferry dock represents an important transportation hub to other public transport, said Sheila Malcolmson, NDP candidate.

“If it’s a private ferry, then it’s an easy one for the federal government to partner with the city on the dock infrastructure and especially this transportation hub,” Malcolmson said.

Mark McDonald, Conservative Party candidate, said he has worked to help raise funding for Island Ferry Services’ $63-million project since 2013 as Nanaimo Daily News managing editor.

“I believe, as far as infrastructure goes, that this is the single most important thing that would benefit the economy in the Nanaimo-Ladysmith riding,” MacDonald said.

Tessier also agrees with Manly and Malcolmson that Island passenger rail is viable and important to the economy, tourism and to future public transit, but added the high costs of refurbishing the entire E&N line means it will likely have to be done in stages.

Malcolmson said there is strong support for a public transportation system “to help us deal with climate change into the future.”

Manly said arguments against the service are based on previous scheduling, which ran as a tourism, rather than a commuter, service.

McDonald said Island passenger rail is only viable if subsidized by commercial rail traffic and the Island Corridor Foundation, which owns the track and stations, needs to present a workable business plan.

Just Posted

Nanaimo RCMP say busts and arrests will have an impact on organized crime

Over $350,000 worth of drugs seized by police after busts in Nanaimo, Vancouver and Richmond

Nanaimo byelection candidates outline their priorities

Candidates provide their reasons for running and their priorities, in their own words

Investigation ongoing after hit-and-run in downtown Nanaimo leaves woman injured

Police say a Toyota Camry found abandoned on Cliff Street in Nanaimo

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Respect ferry etiquette

Letter writer suggests that we consider the ferry terminal and the ferry itself as a ‘village’

Canada’s archive buys rare book that hints at Nazi plans for North America

The 1944 book may have served as a blueprint for a Nazi purge

Nanaimo byelection candidates get their first chance to debate

NDP, B.C. Liberals, Greens participated in Forum for Millennial Leadership debate Monday

47 men arrested by Vancouver police for allegedly seeking sex with teenage girls

Seven of those arrested have been charged as part of a two-month operation

B.C. hospital apologizes for veteran’s five-day hallway stay

Clinical director of Victoria General Hospital says case of retired veteran ‘definitely excessive’

Speaker Darryl Plecas says ‘justice’ needed for legislature employees

Plecas spoke to media at the opening of a pedestrian and cycling bridge in Abbotsford Wednesday

Advocate hopes B.C. legislature scandal leads to more transparency

‘Depressing’ that it takes a scandal to inspire freedom of information reform, says Sara Neuert

‘Dr. Lipjob’ avoids jail, gets 30-day suspended sentence

She will have to serve the 30 days in prison if she commits a breach during her two-year’s probation

Ex-Mountie involved in Taser death at Vancouver airport sues government

Kwesi Millington claims he acted in accordance with RCMP training

New Nanaimo Art Gallery exhibit explores how languages change and disappear

‘Athut/Words Bounce’ features work by artists Patrick Cruz, Joi T. Arcand and Susan Hiller

Most Read