TAP travellers shorted

Letters

Editor:

This is in regards to the importance of TAP (Travel Assistance Program) forms for patients going into Vancouver for medical treatment.

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I am hearing people say they have to pay for a reservation, as well as present their TAP form, to get on a ferry. People have gotten to the ferry terminal an hour early, only to find they cannot get on because they did not have a reservation.

This past month, I know of two couples who were an hour early, only to find out they would not be able to get on with their cars. These people in their 70s had to leave their partner in the lot and walk on the ferry, walk off the ferry and up to the bus stop, take the bus, and get to the hospital or doctor on their own. Their partners had to wait two hours (depending on schedule), have a 45-minute ferry ride, drive into Vancouver on their own and hope that after they park, they could find their partner. I think all that would give me a heart attack!

I have heard through the medical community that the average number on the lower Sunshine Coast is approximately 45 TAP forms a week issued Monday through Friday. That is nine a day, and even if it is a bit more, that shouldn’t break BC Ferries.

Let’s get a more humane approach to what people are going through both medically and/or financially. With the cost of living, the price of rent, buying a house, buying groceries (which have gone up in price terribly), the last thing we need when we are ill is to be slapped with an extra fee.

Lorna Klein, Sechelt

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