The amendments to the law to strengthen the Coastal Ferry Act has passed second reading in the Legislature.

The legislation captures several amendments that will signal an emphasis on public interest within the Coastal Ferry Act but is also intended to capture the government’s broader goals.

Nanaimo NDP MLA Sheila Malcolmson said the amendments
facilitate the participation of consumer advocates in the BC Ferry commissioner’s regulatory processes to consider the needs of people in the review of ferry services.

“As in other legislation, Ontario used to have this, the Intervenor Funding Protection Act, if you are truly in the public interest and you need an analyst or a lawyer to help represent you in a public interest regulatory hearing. You should have that, that in increase and level the playing field so that public interest is represented.”

Once in force, these amendments are intended to re-frame the model to better reflect the public interest and the view that ferry services are an integral part of B.C.’s transportation network.