Upgrades and updates to occur over next year
By Angela Espinoza, News Editor
More security cameras coming to BC transit
The Canadian Press revealed on November 6 that additional buses outside Vancouver will be experimenting with security cameras by next year. The outlet interviewed BC Transit spokesperson Meribeth Burton, who stated the cameras were a measure in securing bus driver and passenger safety.
The announcement comes after the fatal October 30 stabbing of Kelowna resident Caesar Rosales, for which 24-year-old Tyler Newton was arrested last week on second-degree murder charges. While Rosales’ case required the help of witnesses on the bus during the attack, the Canadian Press reported that roughly “two-thirds” of TransLink buses are already equipped with security cameras.
BC Ferries may be adjusting fares
On November 4, BC Ferries made a statement suggesting the busy Horseshoe Bay-Nanaimo route could be eliminated to save money. Less than a day later, following public outcry, Transportation Minister Todd Stone announced the route would be staying in place.
Following Stone’s announcement, BC Ferries CEO Mike Corrigan stated that by not cutting the route, other means will be necessary to secure funds. Corrigan told the Canadian Press, “Without being able to look and explore the major routes, we’re looking at having difficulty now keeping fares at inflationary increases. That’s going to be basically impossible now.”
Corrigan told CBC on November 6 that BC Ferries would need to look into asking for more subsidies from taxpayers, which already cover over $100-million per year for the service. In response, BC Finance Minister Mike de Jong told CBC, “We’re in the budgeting process and we’ll continue to work through that.
“That’s a pledge, as you might expect, to continue to work cooperatively with BC Ferries to ensure we find the right balance.”
Over $1-billion requested for transportation
At a November 6 media event, British Columbia was one of several Western provinces asking for over $1-billion from Ottawa to address transportation concerns. For BC’s portion, money would go towards, as Global News reports, upgrades to major highways, railways, and shipping ports.
Christy Clark was one of three Premiers, alongside Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall and Alberta Premier Jim Prentice, requesting funds with the economy in mind. Clark cited exports from BC to Asia as a driving force for upgrades. Clark stated those she was communicating with in Asia were frustrated with BC’s export system; “Their complaint is often we don’t have a way to get it [exports] to them fast enough,” said Clark. “The only way that the western provinces can fulfill our capacity to grow Canada is if we have the infrastructure in place to ensure we can get our goods to those growing markets.”