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

Several more days before salvage of barge can begin on Haida Gwaii

The barge and lodge broke away from their moorings in high winds on Sept. 8 and ran aground.

Photographer finds rare sights at Takakia Lake

It took three summers, but Gregory Gould finally saw vistas and meteors by the protected alpine lake

Haida Gwaii high schools get a jump on new curriculum

Haida Gwaii high school students are starting the year with some new… Continue reading

Haida Gwaii Funeral Services gets support

Village of Queen Charlotte donates storage facility to non-profit group

Tlellagraph: One fire, two points of view

“No matter how good a person you are, you are evil in… Continue reading

Canning sockeye by hand in North Coast B.C.

Arnie Nagy teaches the Northern View how to can salmon in Prince Rupert

VIDEO: Hundreds line highway as family brings home body of B.C. teen

Northern B.C. showed their support by lining Hwy 16 as Jessica Patrick’s body returned to Smithers.

B.C. premier apologizes for removal of 1950s totem pole at Canada-U.S. border

First Nations say pole was raised at Peace Arch but removed to make way for tourism centre

‘Summer from hell’: vandals rob Fort St. James community garden following devastating wildfire season

The community rallied to keep the Health Minds Community Garden open in Fort St. James

Tornado touches down in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que.

Environment Canada says cars and homes have been damaged by severe thunderstorms and high wind gusts

An unexpected sight: Bear spotted eating another bear in central B.C.

Cheslatta Carrier Nation Chief finds bear eating another bear’s carcass

RCMP confirm death of missing BC teen Jessica Patrick

No details on cause were given. Case is under criminal investigation and police are asking for tips.

CUTENESS OVERLOAD: 2 sea otters hold hands at the Vancouver Aquarium

Holding hands is a common – and adorable – way for otters to stay safe in the water

B.C. teen with autism a talented guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

Most Read