03/05/2013 02:20 EST | Updated 05/05/2013 05:12 EDT

Minister says service cuts form part of BC Ferries consultation report

VICTORIA - Transportation Minister Mary Polak says service cuts at BC Ferries won't be coming before the May 14 provincial election.

But she says cuts are likely on the way as the government and BC Ferries attempt to find $26 million in savings through service adjustments over the next three years.

Polak released the Coastal Ferries Consultation and Engagement report on Tuesday summarizing public input following eight weeks of meetings last fall.

The minister says the government has until June to notify BC Ferries about any cost-saving measures, including service reductions, but there's also the ability to extend the deadline.

The consultation process included 40 public meetings in 30 communities that were attended by more than 2,000 people, and produced almost 2,000 written submissions and feedback forms.

A review of B.C.'s Coastal Ferry Act by the independent ferry commissioner Gord Macatee called for a long-term vision for the ferry service.