Cuts to the Department of National Defence has been a growing concern for those in the Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca riding.
Randall Garrison, MP spoke out today about the decision to eliminate the blue boat commuter ferry service that transports workers to and from CFB Esquimalt by April 30, 2012.
“While I recognize that the ferry service is not a core function of the Canadian Forces, this decision will add more vehicles to the already congested drive between Esquimalt and the West Shore” Garrison said. “This decision comes at a time when workers have very few alternative options to get to work,” he continued.
With the upcoming Craigflower Bridge closure, the community was already expecting to see more congested traffic. Garrison plans to meet with the Admiral to discuss timing of the ferry service closure. “Can the blue boat service be extended throughout the Craigflower Bridge closure in order to keep more vehicles off the road during that busy time?” Garrison asked. “This could also allow more time to explore alternative operators of a similar service,” he argued.
“The decision to shut down the ferry service is added proof that the federal government needs to act quickly to fund the repairs to the E&N railway,” Garrison said. It has been eight months since rail passenger service on Vancouver Island came to a halt. “With new jobs coming to the Esquimalt dockyard and ferry service for DND workers shutting down, the already busy stretch of road will reach gridlock,” Garrison argued. An operating E&N rail service would mean less commuters and freight traffic on the congested roads.
MP for Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca