by Shaun Thomas – The Northern View posted Oct 1, 2014 at 8:00 AM
If everyone was as stubborn and hard-headed as Transportation Minister Todd Stone seems to be, this province would be in a lot of trouble.
Here you have a man who has heard from people living in coastal communities about the serious economic impact reduced ferry service and increased ferry fares has had on their quality of life. It’s not just a matter of economics, in a lot of cases the cost of travel is making it difficult for people to get the medical attention they and their families need.
Yet he does and says nothing.
Then you have the Union of British Columbia Municipalities meeting held last week. Elected officials from every single community in the province were to vote on restoring service levels and rolling fares back to the previous year. The result was unanimous — it wasn’t just people living on the coast complaining about fares and service, it was people from every corner of the province telling the government that the decisions of the past few years were horrible ideas that are negatively impacting the economy of B.C.
And before the ink was dry on stories about the vote, there was Todd Stone shooting down the idea of any fare rollbacks or service reinstatements.
So the people of the coast have now told Minister Stone that rising fares and reduced service are hurting their communities in irreparable ways. Now the elected representatives of every man, woman and child in British Columbia has said the government is going down the wrong path. And in both cases it has been met with apathy and opposition from government.
Maybe Todd Stone would get the point if he were to bring his family up to Haida Gwaii to live for a year. Let his children have to miss days of school to get dental work done; let his wife be unable to go see her family because the ferry is booked up and let Todd Stone himself try to explain to his kids why they can’t get milk for their cereal because a sailing was cancelled and the grocery stores ran out.
Maybe then he would get the message. But in reality, he’s probably too hard-headed to care.