VANCOUVER — Adrian Dix’s promise to freeze ferry rates and abandon savings initiatives will actually end up costing the company $40 million over the next three years.
“Only the NDP would hide a $40 million cut as a $40 million grant to BC Ferries,” says Transportation Minister Mary Polak, who is also Today’s BC Liberal candidate in Langley. “This is typical of the NDP – find a way to borrow, spend and tax your way into ruin.”
The math is simple. On annual ferry revenues of approximately $500 million a four per cent fare increase will generate $20 million in new revenue in the first year and $40 million in year two, due to compounding.
Last year, the independent BC Ferry Commissioner said BC Ferries had to find $26 million in savings through route changes. However, Adrian Dix announced they would prohibit these route adjustments while they undertake some form of “audit” of the corporation.
Under the current plan for Ferries, they could expect $80 million in new revenues and spending reductions. Under the NDP’s plan BC Ferries would only see $40 million in new government subsidies, leaving them $40 million worse off.
“I have news for Adrian Dix – taking $40 million out of BC Ferries is bad for those that use ferries and bad for the company,” says Polak.
BC Liberals have committed to putting one-third of the dollars that flow into the Prosperity Fund toward elimanating the debt at BC Ferries up to $1 billion.