Ferries should only be about moving people and goods

No national or provincial transportation system makes a profit. Our highways certainly don’t — that’s not the point.

I could not agree more with the recent letters about BC Ferries.

No national or provincial transportation system makes a profit. Our highways certainly don’t — that’s not the point.

Why should we think the ferry service to be any different? They are provided by your and my taxpayer dollars. Historically, it has always been up to us, the public, to build the common use infrastructures essential to all citizens and industry, to accommodate movement of goods and services, to support an ever growing population.

Every level of community, on and off our Island, must constantly facilitate, grow and maintain new dollars coming in to keep pace with private and public demands. Without new dollars coming in to sustain and grow a community, it will soon stagnate or die from costs of essential public services, inflation and money leaving the community.

BC Ferries is essential but, under the present management concept — increasing fare charges and profit interests — it is an economic drag on our communities’ businesses and citizens, sucking away new dollars before they even reach the Island.

Ferries are not cruise ships or for-profit centres with gleaming brochures and advertisements, for shareholder gains or executive salaries of a private international corporation.

The purpose is to move people, goods and services from point A to point B. The only profit centres the roads and ferries are there to serve, help grow and sustain, are every variety of small and large business and industry this island can provide, today and tomorrow.

That is the source of tax dollars that our government budgets and juggles for our many common needs, including an efficient, comfortable and safe ferry service.

If there is a profit to be made beyond a reserve to maintain itself and grow to meet public demand, it is not by an outside ferry management service. While a turn of profit would be helpful, any profit should accrue to the taxpayer.

I fail to grasp why our Island’s chambers of commerce, community business organizations and municipal governments are silent on this issue. As a starting point, just look at the price inflation of goods and groceries arriving on island by ferry, among other cost of living factors.

A final note: I am tired of hearing that “it’s the price of living in paradise“ or, extolling the free enterprise profit motive. Not everyone has deep pockets or never needs to leave the Island.

John PietyParksville

Just Posted

Development permit issued for four-storey apartment on Dogwood Street

Proposed 63-unit building will include water conservation measures

Mark Chandler running for City of Parksville councillor

Chandler will focus on affordable housing, fiscal responsibility, economic growth and crime

New data gives insight into Parksville Qualicum Beach-area homeless community

42 without homes agree to take survey on gender, age, health, length of time in community

Parksville singer to celebrate birthday with concert

Robbie Van looking to raise money for Haven Society

Mt. Washington season passholders to be the first to receive the new tech in-hand

The new hands-free tech will be in full effect for winter 2018-19

VIDEO: Tour de Rock rider says event provides badly needed support

Cancer survivor and volunteer firefighter Nicole Emery speaks about importance of fundraising tour

Rattie scores 3 as Oilers blank Canucks 6-0

Vancouver slips to 1-5 in exhibition play

Veterans Affairs ordered to take second look before supporting vets’ relatives

Liberal government ordered officials to adopt a more critical eye

Dead B.C. motorcyclist was member of group that raced down mountain road

Some group members record their rides on Strathcona Parkway and post times to page

Indigenous athletes in spotlight at BC Sports Hall of Fame

New gallery to feature Carey Price, Kaila Mussel and Richard Peter

B.C. couple who went missing on flight from Edmonton named by family

Family released a statement Wednesday saying they’re still intent on finding the two-seater plane

VIDEO: A close look at what you were breathing during the B.C. wildfire season

Electron microscope images show soot and tar particles generated by worst B.C. fire season

Island man calls 911 after being robbed of his drugs

Nineteen-year-old and 15-year-old suspects face multiple charges following robbery Monday in Nanaimo

B.C. woman donates $250,000 to ovarian cancer research for friends

Two of Patty Pitts’s friends passed away from the disease within a year

Most Read