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B.C.'s 12 Ferry Advisory Committees are calling on the province to freeze ferry fares. (Richard Lam/Canadian Press)

B.C.'s Ferry Advisory Committees are calling on the provincial government to freeze ferry fares for at least three years.

Earlier this week, Transportation Minister Blair Lekstrom said he was capping fare increases at 4.15 per cent over the next year while the ferry system is being reviewed — but critics say that doesn't go far enough.

"We would like to see a freeze in increases at least for the immediate future," said Tony Law, chair of the Hornby-Denman Ferry Advisory Committee.

"And, you know, future increases should be in line with the CPI [consumer price index.]"   Law said any increases hurt ferry-dependent communities.

"The cost of fuel, the cost of food, the cost of doing business and the affordability for tourists to come and visit our communities, many of which are dependent on tourism," he said.

"And it also makes economic development difficult because businesses are reluctant to make investments while they see this basic transportation cost continually increasing at this rate."

The B.C. New Democrats have also called on the provincial Liberals to freeze ferry fares.