UPDATED: BC Ferries freezes plans to nix fuel rebates pending government funds

Claire Trevena says she is ‘extremely disappointed’ by a plan by BC Ferries to remove fuel rebates

BC Ferries says it will freeze its plans to end fuel rebates for customers after the province offered up new funds to compensate the corporation for high fuel costs.

In a letter to BC Ferries board chairman Donald Hayes on Sunday, Transportation Minister Claire Trevena said she “extremely disappointed” by a plan by BC Ferries to remove fuel rebates, less than two months after the provincial government put a fare reduction strategy in place.

Trevena wrote that she was “surprised and disappointed” to learn last week that BC Ferries was planning to announce the removal of fuel rebates of 2.9 per cent on major and minor rates and 1.9 per cent on Northern routes.

She said that she believes that action is contrary to the government’s commitment to freeze ferry fares.

READ MORE: Horgan vows NDP government would bring back free weekday ferry travel for B.C. seniors

However, BC Ferries president Mark Collins said that the province has known about plans to cut the fuel rebate since November, and that Trevena’s letter comes a little too late.

“That letter contains some new information… that the government is prepared to put funds in place,” Collins told Black Press Media Tuesday.

“That has not been on offer before.”

Currently, BC Ferries offers fuel rebates of 2.9 per cent on southern routes and 1.9 per cent on northern routes.

Collins said that the rebates are offered to customers when the price of fuel for BC Ferries was lower than they’d budgeted for.

“But when the price of fuel rises above what we budgeted for, there is a surcharge,” Collins said, but added that the company has no plans to bring in a surcharge currently.

The current rebates have been offered since 2016, and the last time there was a surcharge was in 2013.

Collins said that BC Ferries is prepared to wait for two weeks for the government to lay out its plans for extra funding

The Canadian Press


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Minister of Transportation Claire Trevena. (Black Press Media files)

Just Posted

GALLERY: Fernie hosts mine rescue competition

Fording River, Line Creek mine rescue teams off to provincials after placing first and second

Fernie beer named Canada’s best pale ale

Fernie Brewing Company’s Campout West Coast Pale finishes first at the Canadian Brewing Awards

Cannabis yoga a budding trend in Fernie

Yoga studio, cannabis educator team up to offer Fernie’s first cannabis yoga classes from May 17

Sparwood’s Momma Di a mother to many

The Free Press competition winner revealed; plus Mother’s Day around the Valley

An Everest fundraiser

Man set to climb elevation of Mt. Everest in one day to raise school lunch funds

Kelowna RCMP interrogation video brings home reality in ‘visceral way’: former TRC chairman

Video of Mountie interrogating young Indigenous woman disclosing sexual abuse under fire

UPDATE: Aggressive coyote moves to Sparwood

Residents urged not to feed or approach the animal

City of Fernie to hold referendum for multi-purpose centre loan

Council opts for assent voting after petition calling for a referendum garners over 500 signatures

B.C. ferry stops to let black bear swim past near Nanaimo

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Former B.C. Greyhound bus drivers head to Penticton for goodbye party

Big bash runs until Sunday, funded by drink cans left behind on busses over the years

Boy, 12, arrested after allegedly pulling a knife on another child at a Surrey park

The child was later released into his parents’ custody as Surrey RCMP continue their investigation

Most Read