Cullen, NDP push for federal support for BC Ferries

OTTAWA - Nathan Cullen, MP for Skeena-Bulkley Valley, is joining with New Democrat MPs from across British Columbia in calling on the new government to extend federal infrastructure funding to BC Ferries.

Cullen, along with six other MPs representing ridings on Vancouver Island, penned a letter to Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi, asking that the criteria for the New Building Canada Fund, a signature election promise by the new Liberal government, be opened up to allow BC Ferries to apply for critical funding.

"BC Ferries has been criticized for passing on dramatic ferry increases to BC residents, which has had a devastating impact on many coastal communities," stated the letter. "The proposed change could make an enormous difference."

Cullen has made enhanced funding for ferry systems on the North and Central Coasts a priority in Ottawa in recent years, as service drops and fares rise.

In a speech to the Commons in May, Cullen emphasized the disproportionately low level of funding BC receives from the federal government compared to other provinces.

"[The ferry system] is a vital link," Cullen told the House on May 11, 2015. "To suggest that it does not deserve support would be like saying to people in the Greater Toronto Area that there will be no support for development on Highway 401, or saying to people along the TransCanada, that it is not a vital link anymore. For us, the ferry service is exactly what it is. It is a link between us and the rest of the country."

A copy of the letter can be viewed here.