While Transportation Minister Todd Stone continues to make unsupported, misleading, and erroneous claims about ferry service in British Columbia, another member of the cabinet has in the past shown a great understanding of the issue. Although Premier Christy Clark has shown reluctance to say anything on the matter, Talk Show Host Christy Clark was not hesitant about voicing her opinions on the state of the ferries and the responsibility of the province to provide this public service.
Talk Show Host Clark understood the solution isn’t higher fares. “Higher fares mean fewer passengers so the accountants will have to subtract paying customers from every new dollar they add to ticket prices,” she said back in 2008.
“We know Premier Clark cares deeply about the ferry service, and knows it is a vital part of the provincial economy,” said Leonard Ellis, Vice-Chair of Save the Discovery Coast. “She needs to step in now, and say to her Transportation Minister today what she said about the former Transportation Minister then – people depend on these ferries, and they need to be supported.”
Talk Show Host Clark knew any talk of subsidies for ferry passengers was ridiculous. “That’s the thing that I don’t get about the subsidy argument… why don’t they say that they’re subsidizing people who live in Whistler by the massive expansion of the Sea to Sky Highway?” she said on air. “Why don’t they do that – apply the same math to the highways that they build and then maintain – that they do to the ferry routes?”
It would be interesting to hear how Premier Clark would answer the questions Talk Show Host Clark was asking six years ago. Minister Stone believes the Nimpkish service is “a good tourism product”, when every tourism operator and analyst has shown it is killing tourism in the region. Talk Show Host Clark would not have been silent watching this farce go on. Her own words suggest she would have been a very vocal opponent of the changes being made to BC Ferries.
“Christy Clark knows how wrong it is to suggest our maritime highways deserve less support than mainland ones,” said Petrus Rykes, Chair. “Now she has the power to force Transportation Minister Stone to do what she knows is right. This is her moment to follow what’s in her heart rather than the words of her advisors.”