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Local MLA speaks out on possible closure of Nanaimo ferry terminal

BC Ferries is suggesting closing one of the Nanaimo terminals and moving all traffic coming out of the Lower Mainland to Tsawwassen instead of Horseshoe Bay.

BC Ferries has sent the Ferry Commissioner its plans for meeting the last of the cuts needed to achieve the last $ 4.9 million in savings needed to hit the $30 million required by the province.

According to Ferries, options may include consolidating the two mid-Island routes and the two mid-island terminals, in part to avoid spending hundreds of millions upgrading the Horseshoe Bay terminal.

North Island MLA and NDP Ferries Critic Claire Trevena says she has no faith that Transportation Minister Todd Stone would do any analysis of the impact to the economy before approving the changes.

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Ferries is acknowledging it will be a tough sell.

In the report, BC Ferries says implementing any of the changes would need to be carefully planned and introduced following substantial public consultation. Meanwhile BC’s Transportation Minister is now shooting down that BC Ferries proposal to cut the Horseshoe Bay to Departure Bay route and consolidate the Nanaimo terminals.

Todd Stone says he talked with Island MLAs, including Parkville Qualicum’s Michelle Stilwell, and his parliamentary secretary Jordan Sturdy, and heard their opposition loud and clear.

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