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

100 art pieces donated for fundraiser supporting refugee family new to Victoria

Saanich fundraiser will see every participant go home with a new piece of art

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Central Saanich strawberry farmer reports bumper crop

Strawberry season could last well into October

GoodLife marathon helps enrich lives, share stories

Seniors’ care one of many causes supported by GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon

Oak Bay community invited to News’ 5th annual readers tea

Oak Bay News, Carlton House host Sept. 17 afternoon tea

VIDEO: Greater Victoria, here’s the news you missed this weekend

Tragic bus crash, Pacific FC win and Terry Fox runs

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

Federal party leaders address gun violence after weekend shooting near Toronto

One teen was killed and five people injured in the shooting

Scheer makes quick campaign stop in Comox

Conservative leader highlights tax promises early in campaign

Conservatives promise tax cut that they say will address Liberal increases

Scheer says the cut would apply to the lowest income bracket

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

Coming Home: B.C. fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

Most Read