OUR VIEW: Ferry fares need to be kept affordable

We say: Island transportation links province’s responsibility

There are certain realities that come with the decision to live on an island, even so large an island as ours.

The impact of those realities — isolation, expensive, time-consuming travel, reduced access to goods and services — is felt many times more the smaller or more remote the island is.

The people of British Columbia should be in the business of smoothing those issues, not dismissing them as solely being the problem of island-dwellers.

Traffic congestion is an issue solely for urban dwellers, yet the province spends billions on Greater Vancouver’s bridges and rapid transit systems.

The folks in Kamloops, Prince George and parts farther north aren’t spending much time on the Coquihalla, yet that didn’t prevent the government of B.C. from investing transport trucks full of cash to give the people of the Okanagan a more direct link to the Fraser Valley.

As far as we are concerned the same spirit of courtesy and cooperation should be extended to the residents of the B.C. coast.

It has been said so often it has become a cliche, but it still bears repeating: the ferry system is part of B.C.’s highway system and it needs to be treated as such.

Eighty-five per cent of the cost of constant upgrading of the Malahat is not being carried by the citizens of Nanaimo, Comox and Cowichan. Eighty-five per cent of the cost of building and maintaing Glenora Road is not on the shoulders of the residents of Glenora. Why should the residents of Penelakut and Thetis Island be paying such a high share of their only public transportation link?

By all means find ways to make the service more efficient. But transportation links are a provincial responsibility.

Stop unfairly targeting those who live on an island.

– Black Press