OK, so you don’t support the cuts but you understand why the Liberals have made them, and, according to you, they were done to “punish” certain ridings for not voting Liberal.
Are you saying that the cuts are unjustified? that the minister is lying when he says that the cuts are necessary and that the ferries are being under utilized? Are you saying that this was a purely political decision and has nothing to do with economics?
I really want to get a sense of where you are coming from here in terms of the cuts. Are you opposed to the cuts because of its effects on Prince Rupert (even though you understand the government’s decision based on the economics, not the politics) or are you opposed to the cuts because the cuts are unjustified no matter how you look at them?
Because you also suggest that we wouldn’t be discussing this if we had voted Liberal. If the decision was done completely out of spite then I have a huge problem. On the other hand, you also seem to suggest that regardless of the economics involved, our fiscally responsible government would have continued to throw money at a bad system just to reward a riding for voting a particular way? Again, a huge problem.
I know you are just pointing out the reality but you seem to be accepting that reality. Is this what you want from the government you voted for?
And what I find ironic about the decision to cut ferries as a punishment for us peasants who don’t know the right box to put the X is the reality that the people most likely to be harmed by the cuts are small business people, people involved in the tourism industry who probably voted for and donated money to the Liberals.[/quote]
I never said they are being done to “punish” NDP voters, just that all of the cuts were happening in NDP stronghold ridings, like North Coast. Do I think it is EASIER for this Liberal government to make a cut like this in an NDP stronghold? Yes of course, I think it is a MUCH easier decision than say if this was a Liberal stronghold riding. Furthermore, perhaps these cuts would not be happening if this was a Liberal riding, and no that type of thinking has no baring on my vote and is nothing new when it comes to provincial or national politics (and I only need to point out the $300+ million that was pumped into a dead pulp mill by the NDP during the 90’s as proof that ALL political parties in power in BC do this type of thing from time to time, so I don’t think it is shocking at all or controversial).
Do I support the cuts? I don’t support them because I view the ferry service as an extension of the highway system, which is subsidized across the province. We subsidize the huge multi-lane highways that run through the interior and lower mainland, we subsidized the new bridges in Vancouver subburbs, so I feel that if cuts should be made, then they should not be made against BC Ferries. That being said, I also understand the other side as well, where many do not view the ferries as an extension of the highway, thus why should the province continue to subsidize these routes that are apparently losing money. I get that view and that is the argument the provincial government is going with. I am not going to agree all the time with what the BC Liberals are doing, especially when it negatively impacts the area where I live. That being said, I feel this government has done more good for this area than bad and is continuing to show strong economic support here.
I don’t think the decision was done out of spite…but I don’t think it was 100% based on economics either. Like I said, this riding has gone the other way 3 times over the last 3 elections, so the Liberals probably hold some behind the scenes resentment towards the voters in this area. It would certainly make a vote to cut services here a little easier than say somewhere like Kelowna. That being said, I also don’t think the minister is “lying”, but I think BTS there is certainly a little more too it than just “economics”.
I don’t personally use the ferry system and haven’t for over 15 years, so this cut really has no impact on me directly…but I see how it will hurt businesses in this area and tourism, which certainly is not good and could have a indirect effect on living here…but its not enough to make me grab my picket sign and run Victoria and march the legislature.