Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The bigger problem at B.C. Ferries

It's understandable that the comptroller general's findings about overly rich executive and board pay and sloppy governance at B.C. Ferries grabbed headlines.
But the report raised a much more serious problem. The new structure for ferry service the Liberal government set up in 2003 failed to provide any criteria for considering the public interest, in terms of travellers, ferry dependent communities or the economic impacts of soaring fares.
The Times Colonist set out the problems clearly in this editorial.
Will the government act? One bad sign is that the comptroller general's recommendations included having the Ferry Commission regulate reservation fees, currently outside its mandate. The commissioner has been seeking that small change since 2004,. noting that the fees - $17.50 and a $12-million revenue stream for the corporation - are part of the fare structure.
In nine years, the government hasn't responded to that basic request.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that this scandalous comptroller general's report should put the lie to how great the BC Liberals are at managing the business of BC on behalf of British Columbians. That's if you didn't already get it. What about the BC Rail deal? The Western Forest Products TFL bonanza? Three billion $ in Olympics overruns (or hidden and unreported costs)? The disappearance of entire runs and races of pinks and sockeye salmon on their watch - an internationally recognized food resource - while a few shareholders are enriched. Oh, and yes they've been investing in new hospitals and the training of doctors and nurses - not for the benefit of British Columbians who have been impoverished by the spending of billions on "the games" and committing a half billion more for a stadium roof -but so they can lease our medical infrastucture out as a commodity to the highest bidders - to Hell with the suffering citizens whose taxes paid for it. When are the people going to get it? The BC Liberal "business model"
has not been in the best interests of anyone but the politicians, possibly a few of their relatives, and insiders. And it will only get worse as unemployment continues to soar thanks to the policies of contracting out (to Germany, to India, to China, Quebec, or anywhere that will undercut the local going rate).