Long-awaited support a step forward, but more action needed for transportation industry: BC Liberals

AFTER months of industry operators and the BC Liberals calling on the Minister of Transportation to provide relief to B.C. transportation operators, the NDP have finally delivered a program to support bus companies and airports through the pandemic, the BC Liberals said on Tuesday.

“Following months of NDP inaction, it is encouraging to see Transportation Minister Rob Fleming finally offer up some help,” said Michael Lee, Critic for Transportation, Infrastructure and TransLink. “Services like Wilson’s Tofino Bus and Vancouver Island Connector, as well as airports around B.C., have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, and this support is essential to enabling them to continue serving our communities.”

In January, Lee wrote to the Minister of Transportation calling on him to develop a plan to support the motor coach industry in B.C., as many companies like Wilson’s Transportation have seen revenue declines as steep as 95 per cent since the pandemic began. Additionally, Lee has called on the Minister to support B.C. airport authorities and develop a comprehensive plan to preserve B.C. transportation networks, including targeted and specific financial relief, to keep companies afloat so they can continue to offer their vital services to remote communities as we enter year two of the pandemic.

“While I am relieved that Minister Fleming has finally taken action to aid these businesses, I will be watching closely as these grant programs unfold as this government consistently struggles to get money into the hands of those who need it most,” said Lee. “These transportation grants are a positive first step and we’re glad the government is finally listening, but the NDP must continue to step up its support for B.C. transportation networks so they can meet the needs of British Columbians both during this pandemic, and long into the future.”