More money needed to BC Ferries under New Building Canada Fund: Cullen

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen is making sure that the organization gets the federal funding it deserves

BC Ferries operates along the marine highways of B.C. coastal communities and Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen is making sure that the organization gets the federal funding it deserves.

Having written a letter to Canadian Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi, Cullen and six other NDP MPs in B.C. notified Minister Sohi that leaving BC Ferries out of the New Building Canada Fund would be a sizable mistake.

“A lot of my colleagues wrote to the minister this just [last] week about allowing infrastructure money to go into making BC Ferries more affordable and stronger for the North Coast and for many of our communities that rely on ferry service, by our reading of the government’s intentions, BC Ferries should be able to [receive some funding], but it’s going to take a little bit of a push,” Cullen noted last week.

In a release Cullen sent out, the MP said that high increases to fares for northern B.C. residents wanting  to use BC Ferries has put a strain on those passengers’ finances. A larger federal boost to BC Ferries by the new Liberal Government of Canada would go a long way in relieving that financial strain that customers have taken on through higher fares.

“BC Ferries has been criticized for passing on dramatic ferry increases to B.C. residents, which has had a devastating impact on many coastal communities,” Cullen and his fellow MPs wrote in the letter.

“The proposed change could make an enormous difference … This kind of funding would reduce cost pressures as BC Ferries renews its fleet and develops terminals and faces other capital costs,” he wrote.

Along with pressuring the government for more funding for BC Ferries, Cullen offered insight into where discussions may be going in regards to the stalled Alaska Marine Highway negotiations between the Canadian government and the U.S. over upgrading the Prince Rupert terminal, which is in disrepair.

“We’re hoping for a reset on that. I’ve spoken very briefly to the new minister who’s just getting caught up and doesn’t really have a lot of depth on the file yet, but I’m hopeful that the conversations that I had with the U.S. ambassador and some of the officials in Alaska, that we can get back to resolving this,” he said.

“There are a few options that are being explored including even moving the terminal to Lax Kw’alaams if we need it to got that far, but I don’t think it does.”

The Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) recently announced it has proposed remaining at two sailings per week for next summer out of Prince Rupert.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rose Sawka, 91, reaches out to her son Terry Sawka, on a daily visit through the window, from inside Acropolis Manor where a COVID-19 outbreak took hold on Jan 19. Rose was vaccinated for the virus on Jan. 20 and as of Feb. 25 has remained virus free. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
No increases of COVID-19 at Acropolis -16 residents now recovered

Vaccinations have helped to stabilize Prince Rupert long-term care facility virus numbers

A health care worker prepares to test a Coastal GasLink field worker for COVID-19. (Coastal GasLink photo)
Coastal GasLink begins COVID screening of pipeline workers

Construction is once again ramping up following Northern Health approval of COVID management plan

BC Bus North was implemented under the NDP provincial government in 2018 when Greyhound cancelled services across northern BC. The transportation funding expires at the end of March 2021. (Photo: B.C. Transit)
BC Liberals call for immediate govt. renewal of BC Bus North funding

BC Liberals spent years ignoring need for better transportation in the North - Jennifer Rice, MLA

Prince Rupert Tourism is benefitting from funding for new welcome and wayfinding signage from the COVID-19 Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program. McClymont Park on the gateway into Prince Rupert is one of the first things tourists see entering the city by road. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
$695,000 Community Economic Recovery funds to benefit local organizations

Prince Rupert Tourism and Gitga’at Development Corporation to receive COVID-19 recovery funds

Wainwright Marine Services Ltd.’s “Ingenika” tugboat went missing in the Garner Canal area south and east of Kitimat on Feb. 11, resulting in two deaths and the rescue of a third man. (Wainwright Marine Photo)
Tug union demands Transport Canada protect workers along B.C. coast and rivers

ILWU makes safety demands following the deaths of two men and the rescue of a third

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. The federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, start with the vaccination of police officers in internal police vaccination centers. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
B.C. officials to unveil new details of COVID vaccination plan Monday

Seniors and health-care workers who haven’t gotten their shot are next on the list

An investigation is underway after a man was shot and killed by Tofino RCMP in Opitsaht. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man shot and killed by RCMP near Tofino, police watchdog investigating

Investigation underway by Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia.

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Tuesday December 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s compromise on in-person worship at three churches called ‘absolutely unacceptable’

Would allow outdoor services of 25 or less by Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack churches

Baldy Mountain Resort was shut down on Saturday after a fatal workplace accident. (Baldy Mountain picture)
Jasmine and Gwen Donaldson are part of the CAT team working to reduce stigma for marginalized groups in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Jasmine’s story: Stigma can be the hardest hurdle for those overcoming addiction

Recovering B.C. addict says welcome, connection and community key for rebuilding after drug habit

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Most Read