BC Ferries ARE Part of Transportation System: Time to Treat Them That Way

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.

Harv Oberfeld

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75 Responses to BC Ferries ARE Part of Transportation System: Time to Treat Them That Way

  1. 13 says:

    Harvey, just a figure to ponder. A couple of weeks ago I took a load to Powell River. 55feet return fare was just shy of $800. For me its a once in a blue moon. Think about the many companies that go every day 5 days a week.

    We dont need to look to far to find a better run organization. Washington state.
    As with all of the other quasi crown corps much of the costs are a very top heavy managmnet team and the always expensive benefit and pension plans.

    I am amazed at how many travelers still can afford to pay these high rates.

    (Response: At least companies can write off the costs: most passengers can’t … and I know in my case prices have completely eliminated tourist trips to the island. In fact, almost amusing …last time I was in Victoria and Nanaimo was on a cruise ship! h.o)

  2. Gilbert says:

    BC Ferries should have never been privatized. It should be managed much better. The fact is that Washington has a much more affordable and efficient ferry service.

    (Response: I know the Washington sate ferries are somewhat different …and admittedly, not as nice. But I wonder whether there is a lot we could learn from them. h.o)

  3. nonconfidencevote says:

    While I agree with the arguement that the BC Ferries “privitization experiment” has been an abject failure.
    Once again we are ignoring the political “900lb Gorrilla in the room”.
    Liberal hacks appointed to the BC Ferries board. The beaurocracy of the entire organization has become a self serving sloth a la Translink. Note to self: Take a drive down to Deas Dock Fleet Maintenance Unit this summer when ALL the ferries are working thier respective routes. Emergency maintenance only.
    The entire parking lot is filled with staff cars to work on what exactly?

    Time to build a bridge.
    Then the “highway “arguement will truely be over.

    You’re up early this am Harvey 🙂

    (Response: I’m in Florida right now …but my thoughts still turn to BC. h.o)

  4. not that Bob says:

    As much as I loathe the bad faith scripting of the corporate media I try to always find time for Stephen Hume.


  5. RS says:

    Stuart McLean’s take on BC Ferries

    Good Humour!


  6. RS says:

    If you’re 5 minutes late – you’re four hours early.

  7. Perhaps the BC Liberals are pushing the public into demanding that because BC Ferries is being sold as ‘private’ … it needs competition

    The docking facilities being owned by the Single Shareholder, Todd Stone, those under productive facilities should be provided to entrepreneurs who want to SERVE their customers.

    eg. Washington Group is just awaiting the call from the Premier

  8. r says:

    to transfer profits and debt back and forth?As a proxy bank account?like bcHydro dividends and borrowing to pay dividends?ICBC also?

    (Response: I think ICBC is a bit different …because they do provide service to everyone, with all kinds of levels of choices, even with the basic coverage … and beyond that customers still have discretion/choice and competition. h.o)

  9. J MacDuff says:

    How about just amalgamate the coastal ferries operation into the inland ferry operations? They are part of the transportation Ministry.

    (Response: Exactly…I believe that’s the way they used to be. The ultimate control/decisions lie with the province..and that’s where they should all be …under the transportation ministry. h.o)

  10. Hugh says:

    A whole other related topic: BC Hydro has been “quasi-privatized” by the same BC Liberals.

    BC Hydro owes about $56 billion for future power from private IPPs in BC. That money won’t go into upgrading Hydro’s own infrastructure.

  11. R says:

    9 and add translink too

  12. Hawgwash says:

    Like the Transit blog, there are so many side issues to this topic it would be easy to wander all over the place.

    In October 2013, Claire Trevena, the NDP Ferries Critic, embarked on a fact finding tour of the Washington State Ferry system. To her credit, within 6 weeks she published her findings. http://clairetrevena.ca/pdfs/ferriesreport2013.pdf

    While it contains some very interesting and disturbing information, it is now collecting dust somewhere. Nothing accomplished except a nice little group tour of the San Juans.

    There are a number of comparables (management for one) and just as many non-comparables, such as fuel costs.

    The stinkiest comparable, like Translink is:
    Number of WSF managers; 43 at a cost of 5.4 million
    Number of BCF managers 615 at a cost of 64.6 million.
    At report time the C/US exchange was .97-1 so not an overwhelming factor.

    Norm Farrell has done a number of print and radio reports on BCF.

    The most egregious move by BCF was the without warning cuts to sailings servicing a vast tourist network within the “circle route”. European and other tourists flock to Alberta, pick up some kind of motor home, tour the Rockies, drive the Fraser Canyon and until now did the circle route. Those travel plans are put in place 2-3 years in advance. I have met many of them in various campgrounds and the money they are spreading throughout BC is nothing to frown at. The small businesses on the circle route, relied on the 5 months income to carry them the entire year. I don’t know, but I suspect, many of those operators used the deposits as security on LOCs to get ready for the next season.

    BC ferries pulled a Trudeau and gave all those mom and pop operators the finger. Dastardly and unconscionable. The resulting cancellations caused extreme hardships and losses plus gave the operators and BC much bad publicity.

    (Response: Great info! Thanks. Makes me think even more that the current private business model has NOT worked. h.o)

  13. Cam Bailey says:

    Their business model is all wrong as well. If the Ferries Board were selling cars and sales were down, their solution is to raise the price of the car! And then they won’t be able to figure out why their sales continue to go down. Abject stupidity!

    (Response: And also cut hours/services? You’re right on. There should be MANY more promos, aimed at BC residents to encourage usage, travel, spending …and that would best come if it was all part of BC’s overall transportation and tourism strategy. h.o)

  14. Hawgwash says:

    Last year 3 couples, all retired, wanted to take their monster 5th wheel trailers to tour the Island. They have the time so went to Sidney and back via Anacortes because of costs. Just under $300US return as opposed to Just under $600CA return via Tsawwassen. They also saved about $160 in fuel costs.

    The biggest single difference is that WSF has a deep discount for return fares.
    In this case passengers paid about $5 more each for return and $50 for the 5th wheel.

    (Response: Another instance of pricing scaring away customers …and in this case, there WAS a competitive alternative. h.o)

  15. Barry says:

    Oh, but according to the media’s “Three Wise Men” giving any more money to the ferries would endanger essential programs elsewhere.

    I guess they mean the essential tax cuts for their friends.

    If you look at what party the majority of the island voted for, makes me wonder if the Libs have written off the island. Contrast that with shoving new Port Mann and Massey Tunnel bridges down our throat come hell or high water. Oh, gee, stupid me, those serve largely Liberal ridings!!!

  16. AndyO says:

    It never made sense to me that the heads of the BC Ferries Corp make more as a base rate as the Premier of the Province, or the Finance Minister. What I could find online was Premier Clark recieves $177,888 (2011/2012) and BC Ferries CEO Corrigan makes $421,988 (2014). A bit off the ball I would say, and that’s not taking into account the perks and benefits. Put it back into the government’s hands and ring the big salaries in.

    (Response: And don’t forget his free ferry pass: maybe that’s why the rates make sense to him. h.o)

  17. John's Aghast says:

    Why not give the Ferry System to Translink. Think of all the savings involved if we could put all those managers and CEO’s in one place.
    You’d have to sterilize them first though, to keep them from breeding.

  18. Gene the Bean says:

    Since 2001 the story is the same at BC Ferries, ICBC, Translink, Hydro etc etc….

    The BC Liberals have used these institutions, as well as many others, to “give” jobs to relatives, friends and associated “insiders”.

    Since they are unqualified, the organization needs to hire more people. Staying on the ‘unqualified’ theme, these Liberal tools have to be seen to ‘do something’ so they initiate changes and programs that require even more money and even more staff.

    You all probably have that relative or friend that “wants to help” you with something but you know if you let them, the job will take longer and not be as good…it’s the same thing.

    Is there another reason that the ratio for managers at the Washington ferry corp is at least 3X less than at BC Ferries?

    The BC Liberals should change their motto to “Massive and unadulterated incompetence, brought to you daily, with a smile”.

  19. Terry M says:

    I believe it was Wacky B that set up BC Ferries in the 50’s because Blackball Ferries was the only game in town and he was tired oh the gouging. I believe he got the feds involved to make the ferries part of the trans Canada Highway system. It seemed to work very well for a good many years until the libs figured they could build a better mousetrap. Now look at the mess we have. This is all in the name of fine fiscal management. What a joke.

    (Response: There was also a CP Rail/vehicle/passenger ferry downtown Vancouver to Nanaimo. But the biggest change over the years seems to be the realization that the ferries are important for much more than carrying vehicles/passengers: they ARE an integral part of many communities’ overall economic structure. However I don’t get the feeling the service is currently operated that way. h.o)

  20. JR says:

    I for one stopped using the ferries years ago. The last time I was on them was a necessity due to a family death. I used to drop $400 to $500 for a weekend in Victoria or elsewhere twice a year over and above the Ferry costs. That was just myself. Others were doing the same but no more. This is a sore point with me because I love Vancouver Island but it costs far too much to get there and back now. I want to get to the Island and not be on a cruise ship. I now use the Ferry fare saved to spend more in the interior and I pity the islanders who have lost that income. Every little bit helps in business and if you add up all the little bits missing from myself and others it is becoming a calamity. Unfortunately I cannot see this BCLiberal government doing anything about it as they cannot be seen to have made any mistakes. They would then have to admit to the public their plan has failed unless it was supposed to all along.

    (Response: I suspect someone in Stone’s office will read your remarks: pretty well sum up the whole problem from a typical personal traveler’s point of view. They ignore what you say at the ferry corp’s peril. h.o.)

  21. workforfun says:

    Of course it hasn’t worked. Campbell knows/new absolutely nothing about running a ferry service and gave the reigns to one US former car rental company executive, David Hahn. The same can be said about our other premier Crusty Clark – you know, the woman who keeps missing work at the senate.

    It is no wonder we have a disaster in the making – however, for BC Liberal insiders it will be another “BC Rail” type sale.

    What we need is to hire some real professionals who know what they are doing, running a shipping company – albeit a ferry service.

    It would behove the province to look and list to Washington State Ferry System executives – they might even learn something. Fire the bulk of the senior people and save a whole bunch of money.

  22. larry Bennett says:

    RS – I tried …. I really did try, but there is something about Stuart McLean that I just can’t abide, something in the tremor of his voice, or is it the lack of same? He invokes nothing but visions of my early life under the hegemony of the CBC, the fact perhaps, that I have never associated that voice with anyone/thing other than MotherCorp. In fact, I am assuming that he flew over to the island on some federally funded transportation. I can’t imagine that he would ever use any kind of a system that isn’t run by overly paid and generously pensioned off, unionised government employees. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that!)

  23. 13 says:

    Gene the bean, I read your post a couple of times and it should have had the disclaimer “none of these allegations have been proven in court”. Now Im not disputing the idea that the BC Liberals dont look after their own, so to speak. They likely do look after friends and relatives. I might regret asking but why not name a few.
    So in the grand scheme of things do you think an outgoing NDP that is about to be reduced to two seats, giving public sector workers a parting contract gift is any different? The BCLiberals are by no means clean as kleenex but really do you honestly believe the NDP are as pure as driven snow. Sorry Im out of cliches

  24. e.a.f. says:

    Harvey, please don’t say it to loud, “privitizing highways/bridges” you never know what Premier “photo-op” might think next.

    el gordo changed B.C. Ferries into a “private corp”, but it was simply so he could “hide” the financial goings on there. He was able to have the ferries built in Germany, take out a huge loan, add in an extra $750 Million to balance his budget and not have it reviewed by the Leg. Nice trick. then the new “boys” started to have real fun with our tax dollars. That company really isn’t “private” the stock holder is the province, which means us.

    The B.C. Lieberals are not going to make that ferry ride any less expensive. They don’t care about the businesses and people who have to use it.

    Several attempts have been made to explain how the high ferry rates aren’t good for the economy, but the B.C. Lieberals don’t pay any attention.

    Eventually the B.C. Lieberals will sell the B.C. Ferries just like they “sold” B. C. Rail and by that time very few will care.

    The maintance area was once part of B.C. Ferries, but when el gordo “privitized” they split the docks at Deas island into another corp. When the ferries go in for servicing and maintance, its a charge against B.C. ferries.

    When business has to pay these extra fees to move their product around, the cost is passed on to the consumer. Many people on Vancouver island now use the Washington State ferries to move off of the Island, when taking trailers. it just saves so much money. No one “runs” over to Vancouver any more for the weekend, its much to expensive. Perhaps if Vancouver Island established itself as its own province, we could get some assistance from the federal government.

    Oh well there are 18 applications to open coal mines in the Comox Valley, perhaps the new owners will have some influence on Christy and her cabal.

    (Response: I do wonder whether if the way communities vote (eg Vancouver Island) has affected the “business” decisions of the Liberal government regarding the ferries. But then, I’m cynical, right? h.o)

  25. 13 says:

    Harvey, a realy cynic would say the reason the legislature seldom is in session is because mlas cant afford to get to Victoria.

    (Response: They get passes too! Must be another reason! 🙂 h.o)

  26. nonconfidencevote says:

    Harvey, your reply to #2 Gilbert was interesting;
    “Response: I know the Washington sate ferries are somewhat different …and admittedly, not as nice. But I wonder whether there is a lot we could learn from them. h”

    I have often wondered why BC Ferries has to outfit the interiors with expensive flooring, seats, etc for 1hr, 2hr sailings….
    If these boats are part of the Highways then lets treat them as such and fit them out as utilitarian passenger ferries not cruise ships. I never sailed on the Fast Cats out of pure principal but I heard the interiors looked like a Casino. Nothing but the best carpet, fixtures etc.
    taxpayers dollars urinated against the wall to pad some interior designers resume.

    (Response: I can understand that making/using the ferries look/feel nice can enhance the travelling experience ..esp for tourists, who will tell others about the experience. Washington State ferries are pretty utilitarian …and I admit I’ve always enjoyed BC Ferries better… but it’s behind the scenes, in terms of financing and operations …huge cost items .. that I suspect they could teach us a lot. h.o)

  27. Hugh says:

    What’s the result of all the “quasi-privatization” in BC since 2002? Debt!

    BC now has massive provincial debt and future contractual obligations – about $170 billion.

    The Govt says they have a balanced budget, but only because they ignore that $170 billion.

  28. BMCQ says:

    13 – 23

    Well said!!

    Always the “Voice of Reason”!!
    “Fair and Balanced “, one might say!

    “13” for Speaker of The B.C. Legislature!!!!

    I do not want to put words in her mouth but I am almost positive, “Laura would be Proud of You”!!

  29. Hugh says:

    BC total debt $70.4 billion by 2017/18:

    p. 35

    BC govt contractual obligations to 2020 and beyond:

    p. 5

  30. John says:

    ” I can’t imagine that he would ever use any kind of a system that isn’t run by overly paid and generously pensioned off, unionised government employees.”

    The author should be kind enough to provide proof of “overly paid and generously pensioned off” in referring to unionized staff at BC Ferries.

    Just another sweeping and ignorant generalization or should I spell it: generalisation.

    “Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but they are not entitled to their own facts.”

    – Daniel Patrick Moynihan
    (March 16, 1927 – March 26, 2003)

  31. BMCQ says:

    Hawg – 12

    I read the B.C. Ferries Report from The NDP Critic. Thanks.

    You are correct, there are some “Stinky Comparables” between WSF and The B.C. Ferry Corp.

    The Numbers of Managers and no doubt the Remuneration for those Managers at B.C. Ferries vs WSF is something to be very concerned about.

    There are also other Comparables that seem to carry a slightly “Stinky Aroma” about them .

    One of those concerns that deserves to be pointed out is the vast difference in numbers of Employees at BCF.

    John – 30, may not like this but I am going to go out on a Limb and agree with Larry that Salaries, Benefits, and Pensions for B.C. Ferry Workers like Managers is much higher than what WSF are obligated to pay.

    This should also be a concern for us.

    One of the reasons that BCF have so many more Employees than WSF is (I believe) is the fact that Transport Canada calls for many more Deck Hands/Personnel on BCF than what WSF regulations call for.

    In my opinion it is incumbent on BCF Management and The B.C. Government
    to Petition Transport Canada for a review for this policy. If allowed it could save Millions of Dollars andthe reduction in staff could be handled over a year or two through attrition.

    Trust me this worth a look.

    I agree with the reduction of sailings for some runs. It only makes sense. When we move to Islands we make a conscious choice for Life Style and perhaps Economics. Sometimes those choices come with consequences.

    The best way to manage Sailing Reductions is to leave the first and last sailings in place. That way those that commute to work early are looked after, they can get to the mainland early enough to make the commute work.

    By leaving the last and final sailing in place it assures that people involved in Events at one place or another can get home that evening with out stress.

    t the same time both first and last sailings remaining in place would ensure that BCF Workers would not be adversely affected.

    Those that call for B.C. Ferries to be returned to The B.C. Government as a Crown Corporation are correct, BCF should be no different than that other “Stinking Pile of Garbage, TransLink”!!!

    Time to Fix It!

    We should also keep in mind that there is a Federal Election coming up. It may be too late for the coming October Fed. Election but The B.C. Government/B.C. Ferries should have already been lobbying the Harper Government to recognize that The B.C Ferry System should be part of The Trans Canada Highway System and therefore should receive extra Federal Funding toward the running of The B.C. Ferry Corporation. To me this only makes sense.

    Please understand that since Confederation the Maritimes has received Billions and Billions of Dollars from The Feds regardless of the Sitting Party. just look at what the Maritimes received for the Fish Industry Collapse, Quebec as we all know also receives Billions, as does Ontario through various advantages and Programs. So do the Prairie Provinces.

    B.C. and Alberta really get or has had nothing. It is time for the Feds to help B.C. with Funding for The B.C. Ferry/Trans Canada Highway Link!

    Time for the Province to provide some Leadership on this and approach The Harper Government!

    While we are at it is also time for the B.C. Government and BCF to petition the Feds for Funding for a NEW BRIDGE between the Mainland and somewhere on Vancouver Island.

    Pat MaGeer (I am sure it was him) was Correct when he ‘ Floated that Idea”!!

    No pun intended!

  32. r says:

    Dont some mla get there by helijet?
    IS Helicoptor expanding victoria to okanagan?

  33. e.a.f. says:

    ah, yes, free ferries inland, coastal ferries, pay and pay. When inland ferries became “the thing” I was very young, but my parents were amazed these ferries were FREE. Then my mother announced it must be because they were in Socred ridings. The ferries we used to get to some Gulf Islands and Vancouver Is., were not Socred Ferries. One of those early lessons in politics I learned from Mom.

    Mom also told us, people will sell their souls for a $1 a week. That’s when a Socred candidate (Ernie Lecoure) said if he was elected MLA he would ensure WAC Bennett would remove the toll from the Oak St. bridge. He got elected and the toll was removed.

  34. Scotty on Denman says:

    Oh Jeez! BC really has bought a bill of goods. Just look at this article and most of the following comments. Lets get perfectly real here: BC ferries are 100% owned by the public—they are not privatized. The freakish frankenstein of BC Ferries Services Inc. is a cloaking device that’s intended, and actually works, for the most part, to hide the books from its real owners—us.

    Real private companies don’t do that—real shareholders wouldn’t stand for it.

    Ever since the day Gordo won his first mandate, the fix was in for BC Ferries; soon after it was proved that Campbell lied about selling BC Rail, that “fix” didn’t mean “repaired”. Like all publicly owned enterprises, BC Ferries was to be privatized so BC Liberal insiders could buy it and, in this case, effectively corner the market on this type of transportation link. In addition to offending the basic anti-combine tenet of free enterprise, it would be generally unpopular to BC citizens, whose government would be deprived of a boat load of socio-economic benefits, and to ferry-users in particular who’d be vulnerable to a triple-whammy of price gouging and substandard service to boot. But what took it from the realm of partisan policy to that of perfidy (for which the BC Liberals subsequently became known) was the plan to first bankrupt the Crown Corp so’s to make its privatization especially sweet for BC Liberal insiders. The sale of the nearly brand new FastCats for less than their scrap value was a dry run (please forgive the metaphorical incongruity) intended to template the neo-right ideological privatization of all public enterprises. Characteristic of Gordo’s evil genius was the mutli-purposing of a massive, covert sabotage of the public interest—in fact a monstrous breach of public trust and duty of care. For example, in most cases these privatizations would also smash public sector unions, sure to tinkle the drool-melted ice bobbing in scotches at toni crony support-group meetings.

    Small wonder BC Ferry’s dys-management had to be hidden in the supposedly “privatized” books of this bogus “public-private hybrid”.

    In retrospect the sabotage of the ferries has been a disaster for its planned purposes, whether public, private, partisan or political. The supposed boost to general private opportunity, including the private administration of public services—presumed superior to what the public could do for itself—has instead favoured only a very few BC Liberal insiders, and has actually killed enterprises both public and private in ferry dependent communities, almost completely destroying BC Liberal support there, and has contributed to the massive public debt accrued by these self-proclaimed masters of free enterprise. But they got the bankruptcy part right—way right.

    It’s an abject lesson in what happens when extreme ideology meets reality. Gordo actually got overly confident and ran too far ahead of himself. We know what happened with BC Rail, we’ve seen what happened to the Ontario PC party following their attempted privatization of Ontario Hydro (they got thrashed and ain’t been back since), by which we can understand why Gordo switched tactics from whole-hog to piecemeal privatization; but now the secrecy, inaccessibility and unaccountability of government has been repurposed itself: instead of a tool to affect neo-right ideological agendas, it is now needed to conceal how this agenda has been, and always was, a complete failure.

    BC Ferries lies somewhere in the middle of neo-right targeting: used by more citizens than BC Rail ever was, but relatively few compared to the number of bridge and highway users in the Lower Mainland; hence, BC Rail was completely privatized whole-hog, BC Ferries pretend-but-intended “privatized”, and Lower Mainland roads and bridges barely privatized at all—but still susceptible to P3s and discrete highway tolling (Sea-to-Sky). It is not simply a calculation of unpopularity, but also of perfidy which, in the case of BC Ferries, is manifest in the bogus “private” company that is supposed to administer the wholly publicly-owned service in the public’s best interests, but which—without the indictment it will surely receive once the books are pried open—has failed, in this, as well as its perfidious purpose.

    Better ferry system? Get rid of the BC Liberals; it only needs to be done once—felons can’t re-run for office.

    (Response: EVERY corporation is ultimately owned by “the public” in one way or another…because EVERYBODY is a member of “the public” in one way or another. You make it sound like there’s no difference between a government department, a Crown corporation or a private corporation …because, after all, they’re ALL owned by “the public”. So then why did the Libs change he designation? Because there are BIG differences …legally, corporately and in terms of management responsibility … based on HOW any entity is set up. h.o)

  35. Gene the Bean says:

    reply to 13 re comment #23.

    This may come as a shock to you, but some people actually have morals that go deeper than their political affiliations.

    I don’t care if you are a Liberal, an NDPer or a purple people eater – if you are incompetent and gaming the system – you should be called out….and that’s what I did.

    Just like I did on The Tyee until I was banned from commenting for continually holding the NDP accountable for their “record” in opposition.

    Your comment just reminds me of the anal political polarization of people here in BC, people that cant see past the tips of their own noses.

    As for names, look at the senior management teams of all the Crowns and the public affairs and communications staff of all of the Crowns. Look at their start dates….then look at who they worked for before “getting” a government job….and then look at who donates to the Liberal party….and look at who gets all the Liberal…oh, sorry…BC government contracts = all the lines intersect. I don’t care what the NDP might do – this is what the Liberals ARE DOING.

    “not proven in court…”??? I guess six million dollars in legal fees could fix that, right Mr Virk or Mr Basi….?

  36. An Old Friend says:

    As someone born and raised on Vancouver Island, this is an issue near and dear to my heart. But I’m not sure that handing ferry control back to government (taxpayers) is the way to go. Yes, it’s become extremely expensive – a visit to Victoria to see family now costs more than $220 round trip with a reservation, and taking the car is the only option for many people who are travelling with kids, pets, luggage, Christmas presents etc. But have you looked at the schedule for other routes, Harvey? There are still 28 daily crossing between Nanaimo and Gabriola Island every day. That’s 14 round trips! 28 crossings between Buckley Bay and Denman. 16 sailings between Saltspring and Swartz Bay. This is a ridiculously high level of service for people who choose to live on an island and if you look at the financial report (you can even find it online from Florida) you will see that all of these runs, and all of the other small routes LOSE MONEY. A lot of it. That’s the problem, Harvey. Read the financials and it’s all there in black and white. The main routes all turn a profit, but the main route fares are kept artificially high to subsidise a life in paradise for an elite few. I’m sorry, but the “just another highway” analogy does not – ahem – hold water. Fixing a pothole is not the same as running a ferry, and living on a small island is a faaaantasy for the rest of us. It’s bad enough that users on the profitable routes have to subsidize the moochers and their beach front homes. And now you think all taxpayers should have to chip in even more money as well? Ridiculous.

    (Response: Yes…the main routes make money..and the smaller ones lose money ….just as Air Canada’s service between Vancouver and Toronto make money, while Vancouver to Saskatoon or Lethbridge may not. But people in the smaller communities and on those islands pay through provincial and federal taxes for all kinds of services that cater entirely to those in larger cities. People on the islands and in smaller communities are underserved in so many ways…trying to cut them off even further would be highly unjust. And if you think its too costly to serve BC’s island communities …you’d better NEVER look at what we shell out to service the north …or many remote reserves! h.o.)

  37. Hawgwash says:

    Sorry, I don’t buy the argument; “When we move to Islands we make a conscious choice for Life Style and perhaps Economics. Sometimes those choices come with consequences.

    I’m betting an overwhelming number of those Island People looked at ferry scheduling and costs prior to moving and decided it would work for them. Just like Valley People looked at commuting costs prior to their moves. Those folks had a free bridge and a free ferry crossing. Suddenly they were handed a kick in the latter parts with tolls BUT, unlike their Island Cousins they had other options. The Island people have no options to counter the whims of the elected fence posts.

    Ask a family man in Powell River or Comox how often his child’s sports team travels across Georgia Straight now, compared to just a couple of years ago.

    You are right, The Feds dictate staffing levels and if you know anything about our coastline you should be comfortable with those levels. Day in and day out they are mostly bored passengers but every once in a long while a Gil Island moves to starboard and the result is; you never have enough hands on deck. Further, on the south coast and Gulf Islands a ferry is often the first, first responder. I am happy they have the crew to handle situations and not just “observe and report.”

    Lastly where’s your best bud morry gone

  38. David says:

    Courtesy of Norm Farrell

    Here is a list of directors that served British Columbia Ferry Services Inc. and BC Ferry Authority in the fiscal years 2009 through 2013.

    In this five year period, fees paid the directors totalled about $3.6 million. According to Elections BC, directors and companies associated with them contributed at least $1.3 million to the BC Liberal Party since 2005.

    British Columbia Ferry Services Inc. Current Directors
    Jane M. Bird
    Donald P. Hayes
    John A. Horning
    Guy D. Johnson
    Brian G. Kenning
    Gordon R. Larkin
    Maureen V. Macarenko
    Geoff Plant
    Graham M. Wilson

    British Columbia Ferry Services Inc. Former Directors (2009-2013)
    Mark L. Cullen
    Christopher G. Gardner
    Elizabeth J. Harrison
    Holly A. Haston-Grant
    A. Daniel Miller
    Jane L. Peverett
    Stephen E. Smith
    Wayne H. Stoilen (brother of Ass’t Ferry Commissioner Sheldon Stoilen)

    B.C. Ferry Authority Current Directors
    Bohdan I. Bodnar
    Christopher M. Causton
    Roderick D. Dewar
    Robin W. Kenyon
    A. Daniel Miller
    Randolph K. Morriss
    Jane L. Peverett
    John Radosevic
    Stephen E. Smith

    B.C. Ferry Authority Former Directors (2009-2013)
    Christopher G. Gardner
    Thomas W. Harris
    Gordon R. Larkin

    British Columbia Ferry Commissioners
    Gord Macatee
    Sheldon Stoilen (Assistant Commissioner)

    Here is a list of all the people that have served on Boards of Directors overseeing Washington State Ferries. In its last fiscal year, WSF carried 10 million vehicles; by comparison, 7.7 million vehicles used the vessels of BC Ferries during its last fiscal year.

    No boards of directors manage Washington State Ferries.
    – See more at: http://northerninsights.blogspot.ca/2013/11/on-bc-ferries-with-ian-jessop-cfax1070.html#sthash.aQ0iPtBT.dpuf

    (Response: Norm writes a great blog …highly recommend it! h.o)

  39. John says:

    BCMQ 31

    Managers are not in the union bargaining unit.

    But the facts should never get in the way of good old anti labor sentiment.

    i don’t like the way the ferry corp is run either but it’s total nonsense to bash the workers.

    You are not entitled to your opinion, you are only entitled to your informed opinion.

  40. nonconfidencevote says:

    @#31 BMCQ
    I whole heartedly endorse the idea of a bridge to the Island.
    Good luck getting past the NIMBY activists.
    The technology and engineering is there.
    The Confederation Bridge from New Brunswick to PEI was a “P3” built ahead of schedule and under budget by a company from Calgary….. Similar design to the Skytrain track. Prefabbed sections built in assembly yards on both sides of the water that were barged out and lifted into place by a massive crane. Only the winter ice stopped construction for several months per year.
    The depth in the Straight of Georgia may necessitate several man made islands to “land” a bridge pylon on and voila! A Suspension bridge to amaze and enrich more Liberal corporate campaign donators……
    All Aboard the infrastructure gravy train!
    5 Billion? 10? Who cares ? it’ll be built by the private sector with gold plated garantees.
    And, more importantly , it will make Christy’s Liberals richer!
    A win win win for P3″s
    Just dont buy a house if your a BC Ferry employee.

  41. David says:

    By the way former BC Ferry head Hahn is now collecting a pension of $313,000.00 annually since 2013 courtesy of BC taxpayers.

  42. Scotty on Denman says:

    Come now, Harvey, is that really your best response—that everything is publicly owned in some (barely substantial) sense? Did I really make it sound like there’s no difference between private- and publicy-owned corporations? Couldn’t you have simply asserted that I’m wrong, that BC Ferries ISN’T owned by the public?

    Let’s see if you can score another point for obfuscation: you refer to the smaller runs as “money-losing”, and the bigger ones as “money-making”. Sounds exactly like BC Liberal talking points—because it actually is. But a system’s a system, for all that: every part is essential and cannot be isolated for special analysis —unless, of course, it’s to rationalize ferry privatization, starting with the little Islands first. You can’t call a foot the physiological equivalent of money-losing because it’s not being used as frequently as , say, a heart is. The ferry system’s a public service, not a for-profit enterprise; the overall system, small runs included, should be able to pay for itself—the “dividend” is reliable, affordable transportation system. What say you?

    Other canards are also deployed by the privatizers, like the notion that it’s unfair for taxpayers in Fort Saint John to “subsidize” ferries because they seldom use them themselves. It’s convenient (for privatizers) that the mistaken “subsidy” is actually accounted for systemically within BC Ferries—nevertheless, we ferry-dependent communities do “subsidize” roads and other northern infrastructure that aren’t as frequently used as southern roads are (i.e., that could, if taken by themselves, would be considered “money-losing”), that we southerners seldom use anyway, that benefit people who made a “life-style choice” (another tired old BC Liberal talking point) to live way up north. I can’t believe I have to explain this, but, apparently ( after reading some of these comments), I think I’d better.

    WAC Bennet, that stalwart of free enterprise (and a rabid anti-socialist to boot) nationalized the private ferries because it promoted economic development in BC, and, in so doing, created a duty of care by inviting citizens to invest in homes and businesses along these transportation links under that important assurance. The ethical malfeasance the BC Liberals are afflicting on BC Ferries (intentionally bankrupting a public enterprise to improperly benefit private interests) is also a breach of that duty of care BC assumed, and that duty lasts for as long as people are invested along the links they’ve been invited to use. Besides, the economic activity thus facilitated in, say, a Gulf Island, benefits northern communities as much as economic activity up there does the Islands by way of their roads which we all pay for. BC Liberals and their shills attempt to instil a notion that regions can be isolated from the overall administrative system just like small ferry runs can be from their own transportation system—or a foot or a brain from a heart. And this is, I repeat, to conceal a perfidious agenda that is not in the public interest.

    (Response: You seem to have missed my basic point: you HAVE to take the bad with the good…. ie, even money losing routes deserve decent service levels because the people there pay taxes too …including provincial and federal taxes for services enjoyed by others but THEY never see or utilize. That’s the way our province and country functions …coast to coast. And that’s exactly why I believe BC Ferries should be back under the direct control of the BC government, so decisions can be made considering the overall role the ferries play in BC’s transportation system, not primarily the financial bottom line. h.o.)

  43. larry Bennett says:

    John – #39. I don’t seem to recall anyone asking for your Imprimatur. We are all entitled to our opinions – for you to define entitlements is just … so twee! Are you going to say that any and all have access to public service unions? I happen to know that, this too, depends on whose boots are being licked! You’re going to tell us that deals aren’t made between the various corporations and the unions, behind the backs of the members? And why is it total nonsense to “bash” the workers? After all, many of them got their jobs, not through talent and hard work, but by having known the right folks in the union or the company. We’ve heard of people who live in a fool’s paradise – methinks you own a duplex there.

  44. 13 says:

    Higene, Ive reread your post and your response to my response and this is my response to your response to my……

    You might have pilloried the NDP on the tyee. But your original post started in 2001 and went on to discuss the failure of the ferry system due to liberals favoring their own and hiring incompetent family members and friends.
    To which I agreed
    I also simply pointed out that the behavior you abhor is not copywrited by any political party. They all do the same . There is no moral, anal, high ground to take. I also realize that the Liberals have been in power for a very long time (which means the NDP have not) that we all tend to forget the past bad behavior of governments of all stripes have engaged in.
    Larry #43
    To land a full time job driving truck for the City of ( insert the city of your choice) would be a dream come true. The public sector has not been raped the way the private sector has . Truck driving jobs in the private sector unions are a dime a dozen. Because most private sector unions (Teamsters for example) deal with companies that require a return on investment.
    Many “union ” jobs pay so low that I would be embarassed to publish the rates. Private sector unions will represent anyone because they need the dues and they need members to join their in house health and welfare plans.
    But I at least get to participate in a public sector union. Yes lucky me. I live in Coquitlam where they have the honour of claiming the highest average pay for public works personel.

  45. BMCQ says:

    Old Friend – 36

    Interesting info on the in my opinion over serviced BCF Routes, thanks.

    As I tried to point out myself, some Routes have just too many Sailings that are Money Losers.

    Again, keep the first and last Sailings on some of the Smaller Islands and get rid of some of the sailings during the day. All people are required to do is plan their day and schedule.

    Nice to see some objective and open minded input on this.

    Hawg – 37

    See Old Friend – 36. Surely there must be room to cut some sailings for those over serviced routes!!

    As to Staffing Levels. I do not pretend to be an expert but I do think there is room to eliminate some staffing on BCF Routes. Is our weather here any different than the WS System? I am not sure. Surely it could be looked at.

    It should at least be looked at. Anyone with knowledge of BCF want to comment here?

    I am actually involved in the Marine Business and supply BCF and other Ship Yards here in B.C. and other locations World Wide with Product. Kind of a sensitive subject for me.

    Hawg, thought I saw morry exiting Mr. Mikes the other day. He was wearing a Hat built out of Copper Coloured Aluminum Foil!
    Must have had Baked Potatoes!

    He was accompanied by Mayor Gregor who was also wearing a “Tin Hat”!

    morry at the same time was wearing a Face Mask that looked a lot like Geoff Meggs!!

    I Wonder………

    I see where a few of you are somewhat suspicious about our friend morry, perhaps you are onto something! Would not surprise me in the least!!

    How would one spell “Shill”?!!!


    John – 30 – 39

    A little sensitive are we?

    Try and be a little open minded!

    Just because someone points out that a Government Corporation (which it really is) could find some efficiencies and improve it’s bottom line by looking at Union Staffing Levels does not mean “The Huns” are coming over the Mountain.

    Time for you to make your way back to reality and understand that the cost of living in this part of the world is very high and Tax Payers have their backs against the wall! It is long past time for Governments at all levels to find efficiencies wherever they can and that includes BCF! Sorry.

    Yes John, some Services, some Management Positions, and some Union Jobs may be sacrificed but times are changing and if we do not react now we will pay Big Time later.
    Look towards The EU my friend!

    Your attitude is Silly and frankly quite Juvenile!

    Oh and by the way, take a good long hard look at what Larry points out – 43.

    Hang onto that Duplex, I hear prices are rising!

    Scotty – 42

    Understand your argument but I honestly feel that with some give and take Routes can be reduced and the Island People can still be adequately serviced.

    I am going to take a wild guess here and assume you live on Denman. Lucky Man! Or is that Denman St. in Vancouver? If so I will see you at The Dover Arms sometime!

    I really do not think the Conspiracy Theories that are mentioned so often on The H.O. Blog are really in play here.

    I honestly do not think the “Brain Trust” of the current or past Provincial Governments are capable of being that Machiavellian.

    Just my opinion for what it is worth.

    Bean – 35 and….

    As 13 points out there have been problems on both sides. I honestly believe things for the most part are better now. More Transparency perhaps?

    By the way Bean did you happen to see the Story in the Province this week about former Vancouver and former Premier Harcourt and his PERHAPS LUCKY venture into Vancouver West Side Real Estate?

    Is he really that close to that “Intellectual Giant” Mayor Gregor?

    Could not be could it? Nooooooooooooo!!

  46. Hawgwash says:

    BMCQ, I don’t disagree there is room for adjustment across the board. I just have difficulty with the sanctimony of “you chose to be some sort of happy or elitist, live with it.”
    My oldest son has that same attitude and forgets those same folks are paying for the Port Mann, Sea to Sky, BC Place, Convention Centre and 615 BCF managers.
    I am currently in Active Pass aboard the Coastal Celebration and just unearthed another massive BCF fraud: 3 bucks for a banana muffin. I couldn’t bring myself to ask what the cost would be for one that wasn’t a week old.

  47. BMCQ says:

    Hawg –

    I saw you mention that you have a Fetish for Saddle Shoes on “No Tax” – Hawg – 82.

    I probably should not mention this but as I type this I am actually wearing Bass Saddle Shoes!!!

    Should I be concerned?

    Over the years I have always been a “Shoe Guy”, and have at times when I was young and foolish spent more than I should have on Shoes.

    Interestingly enough The Bass Saddles are very reasonably priced yet they are very good quality and very comfortable.

    They come to me from Roberts Shoe Store in Minneapolis.

    Let me know if you wish to order a pair, I will be re-ordering in April.

    By the way mine are Men’s Saddle Shoes!

    Thank you for the patience Harvey, I could not resist!

  48. Gene the Bean says:

    BMCQ says ‘I honestly believe things for the most part are better now’….because of BC Liberal “transparency” – – – – – that is the funniest thing I have ever read on this blog!

  49. e.a.f. says:

    BMCQ, reducing staff on ferries is a really good idea, until you have a storm blow up, something comes out of no where, etc. Canada may require “high staffing” levels on ferries, but we don’t have the mass sinkings/casualites that other countries do.

    When it comes to the ocean, you never know and does any one want to gamble, even if it saves money?

    Having lived on the coast my entire life and knowing people who fished it, worked on tugs, the ocean is a bitch, a beautiful wonderous, calm thing until its not. Oh, before anyone gets their knickers in a knot: bitch: being in total control here.

    Just because the ocean hasn’t done something awful lately, doesn’t mean it won’t happen again. Just go back and read some of the stories of the last century.

  50. BMCQ says:

    Hawg – 46

    Hate to admit this but you have forced me to re-think my statement about what I said regarding “Those that live on Islands Make a choice etc.”.

    You are correct, they do pay taxes and contribute to other infrastructure Province wide.

    Unlike others that just disappear when they are challenged or unlike others that pretend they are going off to do something else I will give your point some thought and respond back to you.

    Enjoy the Ship! I hope they have adequate Crewing!

    Bean – 48

    Did not actually say Liberal Transparency.

    I said, “I felt that things could be better”. I then said, “More Transparency perhaps”?

    You may have missed THE FACT that I closed that statement with a QUESTION MARK!!!!!

    I do thing things are better now because of “Leaks”!

    H.O. or others with long experience in Media would be better prepared to comment than me on that but it seems to me that there are more “Brown envelopes” today than in the past.

    I also think Blogging with sites like Harvey’s, your friend Norm, Mackin, Tielman, and others do the job that people like H.O. and others did. Good thing for The People I would say.

    Social Media, may also play a roll but I honestly believe that in the past misdeeds by Government were better kept secrets. Perhaps there were more dire consequences to “Whistle Blowers”, maybe someone else with more experience can comment.

    It certainly is not because of better investigative reporting, it has been well established here that today’s MSM are not up to the standard of those of ten or twenty years ago when it comes to Investigations.

    I understand that you are congratulating yourself that you have just dealt up a “Gotchya” Moment Bean, and if that makes you feel better fill your Boots!!!

    You know Bean I actually have no problem admitting if I am wrong. All I need is someone to prove I am wrong and I can deal with it.

    Again, I did not mean or actually say anything about Liberal Transparency!

    e.a.f. 49

    I too have lived on the Coast my whole life. I have been on Fish Boats, Tug Boats, Oil Tankers, Yachts of all sizes, and even Commercial Boats in The South China Sea.

    I was even on a Tug that helped Dock The USS Enterrpsie!

    That does not qualify me as to what Staffing levels on a B.C. Ferry should be.

    I was simply told that Transport Canada Regulations are over kill when it comes to what Crew Levels should really be required for The B.C. Ferry Fleet.

    That comment came to me from someone involved with BCF that is in a Mid-Management position.

    I have also heard that same comment from others from a local Shipyard here in The YVR.
    They pointed out to me that Washington State System has fewer Staff on their Comparable Ferries and they do just fine.

    Different Regulations, quite simple I am told.

    I only wish someone else here with more knowledge could confirm. Perhaps someone will.

    Boy, I feel like I am in some Choppy Seas here!!

    Thank you for all the support!

  51. larry Bennett says:

    What a revelation! Yesterday’s Van Sun actually had very intelligent and rational articles by Barbara Yaffe, supporting a “no” vote on Transit! Another by Pete McMartin agreeing on the inconsistencies of “immigrant subsidies” that are being paid to people, who put nothing whatsoever, into the schemes, and who often get more than our seniors who have paid into them all their lives. And then Andrew Coyne giving his thumbs up top TFSA’s – despite Liberal, NDP and union negativity to it’s soundness.
    Could it be that, despite its short life, the loss of SunMedia left a void that seems to cry out to be filled?

  52. 13 says:

    I got a call tonite to partcipate in the town hall meeting with Mayor Stewart of Coquitlam. What a sham . It was good to hear Bill Goods voice on the phone.
    1,000,000 more people. The sky is falling.
    Sheppard shoes on hastings sold some great saddle shoes once upon a time.

  53. Hurtlander says:

    As far as I’m concerned it not right that we have to pay an arm and a leg to visit our provincial capital. The ferry ride over should be no higher than the average bridge toll, if the government won’t do that, then move the capital to the mainland. The average families first family can’t afford to spend the majority of their vacation budget for a ferry ride to show the kids the legislature buildings.

    (Response: A bridge toll cost would likely prove too low …you’d never be able to get on or would have to reserve months in advance BUT rates now are clearly far too high for most of us to vacation on the islands (or vice versa) except on very rare occasion…if at all. That’s a government responsibility to fix and they should run the system, so they become more accountable to us if they fail. h.o)

  54. Hawgwash says:

    You know, if one looks at the Claire Travena Report with an open mind, I think one would see there is not much to grouse about, staffing wise. Oh sure, we see 1755 WS employees vs 4700 in BC but the report does not show how many of those are actually “aboard” and how many are, say, middle managers? If you look at miles travelled and that our northern routes need to either have duplicate crews on board for safe shift coverage or multiple crews along the way for exchanges, maybe staffing ain’t that much different. I don’t know, but perhaps there is a cost of shuttling crews back and forth mid way. Kinda like the West Coast Express does; bus the crews back to or from Mission/Downtown twice a day, every day. It’s not like those train guys get off in Vancouver, drive a Hastings bus for 5 hours and then run the train back to Mission.

    You also said;
    “I was simply told that Transport Canada Regulations are over kill when it comes to what Crew Levels should really be required for The B.C. Ferry Fleet.”
    Just somebody else’s opinion, right?
    “That comment came to me from someone involved with BCF that is in a Mid-Management position.”
    That says a lot right there, right?
    And, and;
    “I have also heard that same comment from others from a local Shipyard here in The YVR. They pointed out to me that Washington State System has fewer Staff on their Comparable Ferries and they do just fine.”
    Just more speculation, right?

    “They do just fine.” Of course they do. You simply cannot compare the two shipping routes and in fact, WSF are much, much more likely to face weather cancellations in Canadian waters than Puget Sound. CCG and Environment Canada will tell you our coast can be among the nastiest anywhere. Try running the Sand Heads in a good sou’easter. Even the waters at the entrance to Howe Sound, with conflicting currents and winds can be enough, at times, to make Popeye puke. Has that middle manager sailed to Klemtu in the middle of the night? In reality, very little of the US coast is comparable to BC. No, I think WE are doing just fine.

    Now a final curiosity and not at all a criticism…the places you have been, the things you have done, been on/in/over/under and beside, coupled with the fact you have rubbed shoulders with more names than Forest Gump…you must be a hundred and bloody eighty three. Oh yes, and I speculate, it was really the Starship Enterprise, right?

    No need to respond as this is not our own little chat room

  55. nonconfidencevote says:

    @#54 Hawgwash
    Granted our northern routes are longer but then again. In the winter are they not reduced in sailings. The Northern Adventure has been tied up at Deas Dock since Nov. Are not other routes “reduced sailings” in the winter months as well? Where do those crews go? Layoffs? “Extra” winter staff covering others on vacation? No shortage of middle managers to shuffle paper on those descisions. A job that may reqiure 3 people would certainly be more effctive with 5 people yes?

  56. BMCQ says:

    Hawg – 54

    So now you accuse me of being Brian Williams!

    Sometimes when I am explaining my view point on a topic I may provide an example of what I may have experienced sometime in my life.

    Perhaps I have been mistaken by doing that.

    Sorry but I have often felt that by including some examples of my personal experience it would give my point/story some credibility.

    To me Full disclosure and Transparency and Honesty has always been a “Corner Stone” of my whole life. When circumstances permit.

    Sometimes I could say much more but I want to do my best to remain anonymous because of my Business Interests.

    There is not one single thing that I have mentioned on here that is not a fact!

    Not that you really care but……

    I am 63 years Old, I have been travelling from a very young age. I have been and experienced many different locals World Wide.

    I am in Business, and that Business happens to be an oddity here in B.C. It is a Manufacturing Business.

    The Business. Fortunately for Employees, my Family and myself it has been successful. But not without hard work and taking some risks.

    The Business is involved in the fields of Marine, Construction, other various Industries, Hospitals, and Private Medical and Dental Clinics.

    Chances are if you have had an X-Ray anywhere in this Province or perhaps Alberta my Company either built or had a big part to do with the Construction of that X-Ray Room.

    Because of my involvement in The Marine Industry it has mean travel to several Countries on a regular basis.

    And guess what Hawg there is a very good chance that if you travel BCF, Commercial Freighter, Sail Boat, Barge, Tug, or any type of Pleasure Craft a Product from my company is a very integral part of that vessel.

    Those products Distributes are Distributed World Wide. Because of that it is necessary for me to travel to many places each year I would rather not but that is part of the deal.

    Sorry Hawg but them are the facts!!!

    Should I apologize for the fact that I have been successful, involved in various businesses, traveled, managed to have some Life Experience all within my 63 years?

    I am not going to say more here because if I was to say more about my personal life you would somehow manage to paint the picture that I was grandstanding.

    I could easily prove absolutely everything I have said to you but that would cause me nothing but that would cause me nothing but trouble.

    Perhaps one day.
    Enough said on this.

    I do not know you Hawg but I was under the impression that although you were somewhat Left of centre you had a keen mind and were open to some interesting discussions.

    I am saddened and frankly angered by your accusation.

    “Not at all a criticism”…


    As to the comments on BCF and Staffing.

    The information came to me from someone further up the Management Hierarchy.

    I have already mentioned that my Company Business is involved with BCF and I wanted to be cautious about what I said on that subject.

    I am not going to proof this thing. If I did I might not send and I want to get this off my chest.

    Forest Gump “MY ASS”!!

  57. Hawgwash says:

    Oh, BMCQ, I am not going to come close to an apology, as I do believe you have just shown how thin your hide is. You routinely throw jest at others…nuff said.

    So, you manufacture lanyards then?

    I still find the BCF “crew” issue to be a red herring. Sack 100 of the 615 managers and save 10 million bucks. Sack half of them and save 30 million. How many deckhands and oilers would it take to see those numbers?

  58. Hawgwash says:

    nonconfidencevote, you make logical sense but again, is it really a good cost saving measure to reduce onboard crews? I suppose it could be looked upon them like parked ambulances or inert fire halls; there when needed. I will concede though there was a manager and a crew member that should have been long gone before that fateful night of March 22, 2007. Thank goodness for the people of Hartley Bay. Never mind why Gil Island got in the way, it did. So many other locations and the human losses could have been staggering and “winter” on our coast can happen year round.

  59. 13 says:

    @BMCQ #54
    Its odd that your posts are scutinized as closely as they are. I guess in a way that is a compliment in that your material draws attention to itself. The absolutley amazing thing is those that post and use only opinion (and believe that opinion =fact) get a pass. Laura comes to mind. Her stuff is well written but is almost always nothing more than her personal opinions.
    Im taking a day off as the port didnt stop trucks from entering that toxic mess yesterday. They also didnt do much to warn the nearby buisnesses. Look forward to your next post.

  60. e.a.f. says:

    A few years ago, perhaps 4 o 5, the B.C. Ferries had “specials” which were at the low load times. A car and driver came to about $35 each way. I’d take that several times a month, if that were still available. The current $70 some odd, is a rip off and I simply refuse to pay it unless going on the ferry can not be avoided.

    B.C. Ferries could use less management. those working the ships are required because that is what our national standards are. We do sale in water the Washington State ferries don’t. However, the Washington State ferries offer a basic service and that is what our ferries ought to offer.

    Most of the time that “extra level” on the german ferries isn’t even open. So why did they bother to put it there. The demographic they wanted to appeal to, doesn’t use the ferries. They’re on a plane or helicopter.

    It would make much more sense to lower ferry rates, and open that section to families with kids, so the kids could play.

    (Response: At those rates or even slightly higher, I’d head to Victoria, Nanaimo, Tofino a few times each summer! h.o)

  61. nonconfidencevote says:

    @#58 Hawgwash
    It will be interesting to watch the BCF Fleet Maintenance Unit over the next 2 years.
    A huge amount of experience is retiring….. and if they cant “handle” the work anymore then close Deas Dock down and send it to Seaspan in North Van or the Vic Shipyard where Seaspan and Esquimalt Dry Dock can battle it out for repair quotes.( as they have been doing on the major upgrades/refits for years).
    Deas Dock is prime land just waiting for a bridge to be built next to it. It would make an excellent fabrication/assembly yard for the bridge…….Ironic since it was originally created to construct the concrete sections for the Deas tunnel in the 1950’s.

  62. nonconfidencevote says:

    Hmmmm Just saw Jas Johal on a BC LNG “gas is good” info -mercial during the 6pm Global “News” Hour.
    Guess thats where BC’s former reporters go in retirement…….present company excluded Harvey. 🙂

    I dont expect Jas to start a politically controversial blog any time soon……

    (Response: Jas is a good friend … but he probably won’t like my next blog. h.o)

  63. Hawgwash says:

    Nonconfidencevote @61
    Interesting. Probably a part of the master plan that’s been in the works for a while. The bridge just happens to be the vehicle to make it happen. Do you know if Esquimalt Dry Dock is owned by the Feds? If not, then by whom?

    r @62
    I hope you are not getting giddy over Mr. P and the transit tax.
    Being the chosen one is just a token to get you excited. His duties will be very narrow in scope and since the tax will never go away, he will.

    Just more jiggery pokery.

  64. Hawgwash says:

    I’m sorry Harvey; this is off topic but, only by a week.
    A must listen, for the truth and a good Friday afternoon laff.


  65. Jay Jones says:

    I’m really liking what I’m hearing from the BC Green party lately, including on this subject.

    I see them doing extremely well next election.

  66. nonconfidencevote says:

    @#65 Hawgwash
    Public Works Canada owns the actual “ditch” or permanent Dry dock facility in the Victoria Shipyards.
    PWC employees run the massive cranes, pump the water in and out of the “ditch” and monitor the work for pollution, safety, etc. ( I watched 10( yes 10) , “blue hats” aka PWC employees oversee a tiny oil spill at the Victoria shipyards one day……some oily rags blew off the dock and landed in the water causing a sheen on the water…..Armageddon! Two people from the shipyard were out in an aluminum skiff with a float boom and oil soak rags while 10 people with clipboards from PWC watched them.
    Our tax dollars at work.
    Esquimalt Dry Dock is owned by a crusty old fart who runs a very lean organization. Most of his staff are hired and laid off from the local union halls. Ive had a few beers with him , fascinating guy full of stories about “the old days”.
    Victoria Shipyards/Seaspan is the other player. They’re Dennis Washingtons’ group. They have the floating Drydocks in North Vancouver and the Assembly shops further west in North Van. I believe the Assembly shops are on crown land and thus PWC controlled.
    Seaspan is Very politically connected but seem to run a fairly honest game all the same.

    i just want to see what happens to all these shipbuilding contracts if Harper goes down in the next election. The Liberals under Cretien nuked the helicopter agreement signed by Mulroney…….
    Sorry for the sideline topic Harvey.

  67. r says:

    107o am radio CFAX
    4 pm segmment
    437 pm fwd terry moore on BC Ferries
    Nakusp ferry free,6 minute ride


  68. NJ says:

    The sole shareholder of the corporation is the government of BC. It compels that entity to pay a dividend from a profit gleaned on an annual basis by whatever means yet interferes in business decisions when politically advantageous to curry favour in some constituency. Do you not remember how BC government runs things? The example of being able to lose money owning the only beer store and brothel in the middle of a desert comes to mind.
    Forcing the ferry corporation and ICBC to pay a notional annual dividend on phony profit is merely an exercise in imposing hidden taxes.
    As you pointed out earlier, Transdink is a classic example of government(s) – multiple – operating a huge transportation monopoly.

  69. e.a.f. says:

    ah, have Jimmy Pattison run the B.C. Ferries? Well, these days the guy running the Pattison group is a guy by the name of Glen Clark. He’s the President of the Pattison Group. He’s doing well. From the last article in the Vancouver Sun, the Pattison Group is doing well, Mr. Pattison is doing well. Why would they want this headache.

    The B.C. Ferries would be a much better run organization if it were not headed by a bunch of political appointees. As much as we bitch and complain about B.C. Ferries, we need to remember it has a Board of Directors and they are all appointed by the B.C. Lieberals. Most of them, I’d wager, don’t even ride the ferries.

    If the B.C. Ferries is going to be a well run organization the Board of Directors needs to be comprised of people who actually know something about using ferries and business. Not a bunch of political friends who donate to the B.C. Lieberals about the same amount as they receive in “fees” for sitting on the board. Nice work if you can get it.

    B.C. Ferries ought to be “returned” to the government so that any interest they have from debt, would be at 3% instead of 10%. any organization which opts for higher interest rates, is dumber than a 5th grader.

    The Board of Directors ought to be comprise of people who use the ferries, work the ferries, a sitting M.L. from each party, know a tad about business and they ought to do it for $50 a meeting. No one group would have more representation than the other. No political appointees, no B of D. members who donate to a political party.

  70. r says:

    Public service,in BC, has become public ATM service,at the top end.?

  71. Noneck says:

    Hear hear e.a.f!!! Love your post #71.

  72. larry Bennett says:

    e.a.f. – Liebrals? Really? So passe, time to move on to something just a little more original, dontcha think? And just what do you think of Pattison – He’s a proven entity, surely. The last time I saw Glen Clark he was shambling off into obscurity – or so I thought. Pattison must have seen something, why else would he hire a Socialist leader to run his company? You can be sure Jimmy keeps a finger on the pulse, but Glen seems to keep a very low profile, probably at Jimmy’s insistence.

  73. nonconfidencevote says:

    @#72 r

    Truer words have never benn spoken.

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