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

B.C. chiefs show solidarity with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs

Chiefs from around B.C. outside the Coastal GasLink pipeline route in Smithers show support.

Woman killed in head-on crash near Vanderhoof

RCMP say driver crossed the centre line and hit a loaded fuel tanker truck

RCMP to review actions at Wet’suwet’en pipeline protest camps

Senior Mountie says he hopes protests will be peaceful following deal with hereditary chiefs

‘Tripod’ delays access to Unist’ot’en camp

Social media rumours of cultural significance quashed, meaning police “exclusion zones” should end.

Hereditary chiefs negotiate injunction agreement

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs abide by interim injunction, but gate stays up. Still opposed.

VIDEO: U.S. Congress to probe whether Trump told lawyer Cohen to lie

At issue is a BuzzFeed News report that about negotiations over a Moscow real estate project

Rookie Demko backstops Canucks to 4-3 win over Sabres

Young Vancouver goalie makes 36 saves to turn away Buffalo

Charges upgraded against mother of murdered B.C. girl

Kerryann Lewis now faces first- rather than second-degree murder in the death of Aaliyah Rosa.

UPDATE: Injured firefighter in stable condition

Kelowna fire crews responded to a blaze at Pope’sGallery of BC Art & Photography on Friday

Rare ‘super blood wolf moon’ takes to the skies this Sunday

Celestial event happens only three times this century

Arrest made after historic B.C. church hit by arson

The fire at the 150-year-old Murray United Church in Merritt was considered a possible hate crime

B.C. dangerous offender in court for violating no-contact order, sends letter to victim

Wayne Belleville was shocked to see a letter addressed to him from his shooter, Ronald Teneycke

Man blames his loud car radio, sirens for crash with B.C. ambulance

Tribunal rejects bid to recoup ICBC costs after crash deemed 100-per-cent his fault

RECALL: Salmon Village maple salmon nuggets

Customers warned not to eat product due to possible Listeria contamination

Most Read