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Greater Victoria, BC News

ARTICLE

Date ArticleType
5/9/2012 Media Release
Chamber Supports Sustainable Future for Coastal Ferries


MEDIA RELEASE

IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 9, 2012 – Victoria, BC – The Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce welcomed changes to the Coastal Ferries Act designed to allow for a more efficient and sustainable coastal ferry system. Bill 47 was introduced today in the BC Legislature by Minister Blair Lekstrom outlining changes to the Coastal Ferry Act.
“Ensuring that the ferry system continues to operate efficiently is a significant issue as in recent years the increases to fares has continually outstripped both the rate of inflation and the rate of economic growth. This has lead to a situation that continues to test the ability of users to pay and has lead to increased costs to businesses, residents and visitors alike,” said Bruce Carter, CEO of the Victoria Chamber. “The Chamber agrees that a long-term vision for the service is required to help guide the system’s capital and operational planning in the future. From the Chamber’s perspective, a forward looking discussion concerning BC Ferries as a “connector of communities” is an important step to ensure that BC Ferries adapts to meet future needs, while maintaining a financially sustainable service.”
The Chamber also supports the direction of allowing for improvements to capacity utilization. A review of the current contract, with the goal of providing more flexibility to BC Ferries regarding the level of service on routes, is also the right direction, including the recommendation that the Commissioner be given authority to make changes based on a consideration of the interests of the ferry users, the taxpayer and the financial sustainability of the ferry operator.
The Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce, with approximately 1,500 members, is the voice of business for Greater Victoria and has received Accreditation with Distinction from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

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For more information contact
Cheryl Wirch-Ryckman
Interim Manager of Member Communications
Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce
Email: cwirchryckman@victoriachamber.ca
Cell: (250) 812-0510


Bruce Carter
Chief Executive Officer
Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce
Email: bcarter@victoriachamber.ca
Phone: (250)360-3472

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