NEWS RELEASE · 7th February 2011
In a stunning revelation made on the Voice of BC political channel last week, BC Ferry Corporation CEO David Hahn, in answer to a question by panelist Bill Tieleman admitted that the new German built Super-C Class Ferry “Coastal Renaissance” is being moored in Nanaimo due to its high level of fuel consumption says BC First spokesman, Chris Delaney.
Delaney says Hahn explained that the new Super C- class ferry, delivered to BC Ferries in 2008, has been sitting due to its extremely high fuel consumption costs. Instead, Hahn says they are using The Queen of Oak Bay and other 1960’s built ferries in its place.
“Kind of defeats the purpose of the whole exercise, doesn’t it?” said Delaney. “These new ferries were built to replace the so called ‘failed Fast Cats’ that purportedly were not able to go as fast as designed on a full tank of fuel, and whose jet thrusters were considered unsuitable for use on the ferry runs.”
“But rather than retro-fit the Fast Cats with prop engines at a cost estimated at $60 million, the Liberals sold the $300 million units for less than the cost of scrap metal at $16 million. They then ordered new ferries from German shipyards at a cost of over $500 million which are now considered by the corporation to be such gas guzzlers that they are not economical to run. We’ve gone from the ‘Fast Ferries Fiasco’ to the ‘Fuel Ferries Fiasco’!”
Delaney says the revealing comments by Hahn show that the BC Ferry Corporation may have mismanaged the contract for the new ferries. “It also proves that the old ferries have stood the test of time and not only can we build better ferries here, but we know the right kind to build for our market.”
“Instead, we have the equivalent of a 'Mercedes Benz' sitting in the doc in Nanaimo collecting barnacles, while we continue to drive our older 'Honda Civic' versions that can still do the job after 40 years of use. It is ridiculous.”
Delaney says the BC First party has submitted an FOI request to get information on the other two Super C class ferries to see if the same “mooring” is taking place with them, and to what degree the new ferries are not operational.
“What is becoming more and more clear is that a comprehensive review of how our ferry system is run is badly needed. We simply cannot afford to spend billions on ferries that don’t serve our needs, and which have only resulted in higher and higher rates for service,” Delaney concluded.
Government Corporate Welfare?
Comment by Barry English on 9th February 2011
BC Ferries and the "fast ferries scandal" were the major blow that destroyed the NDP in 2001. Since the BC Rail scandal didn't quite destroy the Liberals although it should have, with any luck the total mess that is now the BC Ferries may do the trick. The million dollar man at the helm is obviously NOT worth his salary, as he is incapable of running a corporation without help.
Can we accuse our own government of being a "corporate Welfare Bum"?
Best Able To Manage Money?
Comment by Gary Edwards on 8th February 2011
For all this new Ferry boondoggle Hahn gets almost a Million per year. And Campbell in the last election went on the platform that the Liberals were best able to manage the economy.
I submit that what he really meant was that the Liberals were best able to manage their mistakes.
These people have a big fear of losing the next election because if they do we will find out just how big of liars they really are.
Comment by Brian Denton on 7th February 2011
There is far more to the problems with BC Ferries than simply with the Super C Class Coastal Renaissance. A few years ago BC Ferries had the beautiful Northern Expedition built which has been sitting in dry dock over the winters rather than having it on our northern run. The Northern Expedition was supposed to replace the Queen of the North which sank but BC Ferries built a much larger vessel and now find it is uneconomical for the run it was intended.
BC Ferries also purchased the ill designed Northern Adventure which now services our northern runs. It is poorly laid out for this run and has had at least two life threatening voyages in its short life in our waters.
It is no wonder rates need to be increased on our northern run since BC Ferries are providing such an ill suited vessel for our northern waters that usage has dropped accordingly.
All of the above under the watch of Pres. and CEO, Mr. Hahn.