The B.C. Conservative Party is making waves in the lead-up to the provincial election by proposing a new ferry service between Metro Vancouver and Vancouver Island, and a bridge to Gabriola Island.

The Conservatives unveiled what they’re calling a “conceptual proposal” to build a bridge from Vancouver Island to Gabriola Island, and a new ferry service that would connect Gabriola to an area just west of Vancouver International Airport.

"The plans we have developed would when implemented provide a huge boost to the B.C. economy and greatly improve the lives of literally millions of people,” B.C. Conservative Party spokesman John Twigg said at a campaign event in Nanaimo.

The party says the new bridge and ferry terminal would replace BC Ferries’ “cramped and out-moded terminal for its money-losing ferry service to Gabriola Island,” the party said.

The bridge would be built at one of the sites near Mudge Island that were identified in a government feasibility study last year, while the ferry terminal would be constructed in Silva Bay, on the southeast side of Gabriola Island.

The party is also proposing a new rapid transit line that would connect the new ferry terminal near YVR directly to one of the airport’s existing Canada Line stations.

The B.C. government officially ruled out a proposed bridge to Gabriola last year, saying the estimated price tag of up to $520-million would outweigh potential benefits.

A petition to have the government study the feasibility of a bridge was put forward by Gabriola Island residents who said they were fed up with the existing ferry service.

The Conservatives say the bridge and ferry proposal is one of many that it will be unveiling as the May 9 provincial election nears.

The party, which is without a leader and has been shut out of the provincial debate as a result, said while it has no seats in the Legislature, “we are still rich in ideas and have many good candidates being nominated.”