Editorial: Ferry riders catch a break

Sailing waits remain a fact of life, but the wait for free ferry rides for seniors is almost over

Sailing waits will remain a fact of life, but at least the wait for free ferry rides for seniors is almost over.

In Tuesday’s B.C. budget, the NDP government announced that it will fulfill its campaign promise to freeze ferry fares on major routes, reduce fares on smaller routes and re-introduce free rides for seniors Mondays through Thursdays.

RELATED: Fare freeze, free travel for seniors on B.C. Ferries

The announcements, slated to come into effect April 1, will be welcome here on Vancouver Island. Goodies delivered in a budget speech often benefit one part of the province or another, but any relief on ferry fares is something makes much more of a difference here on the Island than anywhere else. At the same time, for those who haven’t yet reached their golden years, it’s hard to get overly excited about a fare freeze, because after all, it’s really just an announcement that things remain status quo.

It’s noteworthy that the NDP government chose to follow through on its promises surrounding ferries now. A ferry review process started in January and is continuing until June and it might have been very easy for the government to delay making any decisions on the ferries file until the review is complete.

But it makes sense that the NDP would want to be seen as showing leadership on ferries, generally a top-of-mind issue to Vancouver Island voters, because the B.C. Liberal Party knows the importance of the file, too. The Liberals made their own campaign promises about ferries in their Vancouver Island platform, introducing the idea of tax breaks for frequent sailors, and continued to pitch ideas in the recent party leadership race.

Maybe this week’s announcements didn’t need to be made before the ferry review is complete. Of course we support free ferry rides for seniors and if fares aren’t coming down, then a freeze is the next-best thing. But we also suspect a review will identify other kinds of changes that will have to happen to get B.C. Ferries sailing smoothly.

Just Posted

Nanaimo firefighters train to save themselves

Fire Ground Survival Program teaches firefighters to stay alive when structure fires turn perilous

Greens want climate protection added to international trade agreements

Green Party leader Elizabeth May campaigns in Nanaimo-Ladysmith

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Election debate silenced voices

Forum at Beban Park should have included all candidates, says letter writer

Campaign brings NDP leader Jagmeet Singh through downtown Nanaimo

Singh says his party has ‘momentum’ heading into election day

VIU theatre department debuts instructor’s original new musical, ‘SlugFest’

Writer and director Ross Desprez created the musical with his students

City of Nanaimo planning to build new boathouse at Long Lake by 2023

$1.35-$2-million project would be used by local rowing, canoe and kayak clubs

Lantzville’s Pottie ‘walking away’ from derelict hotel in Port Alberni after one week

WorkSafe B.C. issues stop work order; owner says cost to continue too high

Beefs & Bouquets, Oct. 17

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail bulletinboard@nanaimobulletin.com

Greta Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta, but doesn’t talk oilsands

Swedish teen was met with some oil and gas industry supporters who came in a truck convoy

Zantac, the over-the-counter heartburn drug, pulled in Canada, U.S.

Health Canada also investigates possible carcinogen in some ranitidine drugs

B.C. public safety minister says cannabis edibles not in stores til January

Mike Farnworth says he wants regional issues considered when it comes to licensing

Scheer denies spreading ‘misinformation’ in predicting unannounced Liberal taxes

Conservative leader had claimed that a potential NDP-Liberal coalition could lead to a hike in GST

Council asks to limit cruise ship visits to Victoria harbour

Mayor says motion is not meant to curtail current visits or limit local cruise industry expansion

Most Read