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NDP inaction leaves Vancouver Island communities stranded

VANCOUVER (February 17, 2021) – Despite promises to provide relief, Vancouver Island communities are still waiting on the Minister of Transportation to step in and provide support for local bus routes Tofino Bus and Vancouver Island Connector, operated by Wilson’s Transportation.

“I wrote to Minister Fleming a month ago about the challenges facing motor coach companies and called on him to provide relief to the struggling industry,” said Michael Lee, BC Liberal Critic for Transportation and Infrastructure. “Since then, Wilson’s has had to suspend its vital intercity routes on Vancouver Island, and while the Minister has said that he is putting together support, we have yet to see any action to keep the service operating. Today, I am reiterating my calls for government to immediately provide support, so that these routes can continue to serve Vancouver Island both now and in the future.”

Wilson’s Transportation announced more than two weeks ago that it would not be able to resume services as planned on February 12th without immediate government support.

“This is about more than just about supporting a local business, which is itself critical during this time, this is about supporting entire communities,” added Lee. “There are 29 communities and 21 First Nations that depend on these routes for essential services, yet the Minister has failed to act quickly to come to their aid. We cannot let our vital transportation networks disappear during this time or it will have negative impacts on our province, and British Columbians, for years to come.”

Attachment: Letter to Fleming, February 17, 2021

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