Tour at halfway point

  • Feb. 13, 2008 10:00 a.m.

North Coast MLA Gary Coons has reached the half-way point in his five-month long “fight unfair fares” tour of coastal communities. Mr. Coons was on Haida Gwaii in December talking to islanders about how they have been affected by ferry fares which have, in some cases, more than doubled over the past five years. As of now, he has spoken to residents and business owners in 17 communities, and he’s still on the road. He’ll continue to hold public forums in coastal towns and villages until March. “The Campbell Liberal government has abandoned coastal communities,” Mr. Coons said. “Not only are skyrocketing fare increases hampering people’s ability to live in coastal communities, they are fundamentally unfair.” In Masset, people told the MLA that it’s getting harder to leave the islands, whether for medical reasons, to participate in sports events, or just to see friends and relatives. Rising fares are also making it difficult for Graham islanders to visit Sandspit. Mr. Coons has brought forward a private member’s motion in the Legislature to freeze ferry fares at their 2007 levels until the government comes up with a “ferry-dependent communities strategy”.