Rising costs and finding and keeping staff are two of the biggest challenges facing employers. Yesterday, BC Ferries was told it could only increase fare prices by 3.2% annually between April 1, 2024 and March 31, 2028. The increase had been forecast at 9.2% but was reduced because of a $500 million provincial government subsidy.
The ferry corporation — part of the foundation of Vancouver Island's economy — was also told yesterday that the province will begin levying fines for missed sailings on select routes. The penalties will apply when core services are cancelled — $7,000 if a major route and $1,000 if a minor route. Many of the details have yet to be announced.
Over the summer, ferry cancellations made headlines and frustrated travellers as mechanical issues and a lack of available staff affected numerous sailings.
"BC Ferries provides a vital connection between the Mainland and the Island, so we do need certainty that sailings will happen as scheduled," Chamber CEO Bruce Williams said. "But perhaps there are regulatory changes or innovative solutions that can be made to modernize staffing requirements while maintaining public safety as the priority."