It’s one of the biggest challenges of government: getting politicians who made mistakes admit it. And make things right.
It’s time to make things right with BC Ferries .
And for the government to admit making it a private company in 2003 was a mistake.
A bad mistake.
A private company operates like a private company: it’s main concerns are the bottom line and its shareholders.
That’s why … in the face of rising costs for fuel, wages, infrastructure … the natural reaction is to raise prices and cut services to compensate to return to at least break-even and maybe even make a profit.
The shareholders are kept happy …and the brass get big bonuses ….for a job well done!
Because missing from the private business equation, in the case of a ferry system, are what’s best for the customers.
And among the “customers” are not only those who ride the boats, but the hundreds of communities and thousands of businesses and hundreds of thousands of families who HAVE suffered under BC Ferries’ private business designation and modality.
That’s how as ludicrous an idea of dropping or even substantially cutting ferry service between Horseshoe Bay and Nanaimo could even e floated or considered.
That’s how all kinds of other services can be slashed at the same time that prices are raised again and again … because the bottom line is more important than the impact those actions have on those they affect.
Under BC Ferries as a private company, travel has become severely limited to those who MUST voyage upon them: commercial carriers; business operators; families on unavoidable personal or medical trips.
Just heading over to the island or mainland or up sunshine coast or to any of the islands for a day or weekend or even a week or longer for recreation and tourism has become out of the question for most of us. And hotels, restaurants and other businesses have suffered.
Not to mention the impact on families.
It’s time to return BC Ferries to Crown Corporation status.
Ferries must be recognized …not as only as a rare necessity … but as a FULL part of BC’s transportation system …and operated as such.
Under BC’s Transportation ministry.
The services, which include 35 vessels, already receive $180 million a year in government subsidies…and more.
If they need MORE of a subsidy to put CUSTOMERS and COMMUNITIES and TOURISM and FAMILIES FIRST … ahead of just a bottom line private corporation model … GIVE IT TO THEM.
But BC has not privatized its highway bridges to operate as a private business; BC has not privatized its highways to operate on a bottom line basis; and, BC has not privatized its parks system to achieve a profitable picture … so why the ferries?
Especially in view of the NEGATIVE impact that has had on so many.
It was a mistake: time to admit it.