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General News · 29th August 2008
Walker Evans

An interesting read for anyone living in a ferry-dependent community.

David Hahn has spent a whopping $190 million in one fiscal quarter on capital expenditures and infrastructure while fuel costs grew only $10 million to $89 million for the entire year. Just look at the fancy upgrades to Quathiaski cove, Departure Bay and other terminals not to mention new German ships and new furniture, carpets, etc on older ships like the Queen of Oak Bay. Now Mr. Hahn wants to open a sales center in downtown Vancouver to push his "product" with tourists leading up to the Olympics. BCF is turning from its intended use as transit for local islanders to more of a cruise ship facility. The fuel surcharge is just a smokescreen. If they were honest they would call it a renovation surcharge since Mr. Hahn seems to want to put his gold-plated stamp on everything. Unfortunately the gulf islanders are a very small minority and most BC'ers think we're privileged to live here so they have no sympathy for our plight. What's to be done ?
Province Editorial
Comment by Walker Evans on 1st September 2008
Grits all at sea over ferry fees
The Province
Published: Monday, September 01, 2008
When Gibsons Mayor Barry Janyk recently asked B.C. Ferries' president David Hahn whether or not the company would join a study on the effect of rising fares on ferry-dependent communities, he got a one-word answer: "No!" As terse and blunt as this response was to those attending B.C. Ferries' annual meeting in Delta last week, it spoke volumes about what is wrong with the province's coastal ferry system.

Hahn is technically correct in saying that any study into what ferry-dependent communities believe is the increasingly negative economic impact of higher ferry fares is "a policy thing" -- and therefore falls under the B.C. government's jurisdiction.

However, Victoria has shown no interest whatsoever in a report from the B.C. Ferries Advisory Committee, which warned that rising fares are not only hurting coastal communities, but are threatening the viability of the ferries system.

The committee, which represents ferry-dependent communities serviced by B.C. Ferries, wrote the report specifically for Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon.

"Falcon cool toward report on impact of ferry fares," was the way one editorial-page headline described the minister's response to the report.

Since the Campbell government dumped its responsibility for B.C. Ferries as a Crown corporation in 2003 and set it up effectively as a stand-alone authority, it has adopted a "hands off" position.

That's why it has not only ignored the advisory committee report, it has shown no inclination to address the economic impacts on smaller communities that the study outlined.

So what we have here is B.C. Ferries and the B.C. government each saying "not my problem" to the impacts of fast-rising ferry fares.

When the travelling public demands accountability for this mess, both the B.C. Ferries bureaucrats and the Liberal politicians in Victoria quickly run for cover.

And our premier wonders why his Liberals are now running behind the NDP in public-opinion polls?

© The Vancouver Province 2008
Perhaps Cortes Should Form a Team !
Comment by Walker Evans on 31st August 2008
Sport BC and BC Ferries Provide Travel
Subsidies for Amateur Athletes
For Immediate Release:
Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Richmond, B.C.: Over the past number of years amateur athletes and teams have seen a steady increase in travel costs to and from competitions within British Columbia. Sport BC and BC Ferries are working in partnership to reduce travel costs by providing travel assistance subsidies for ferry crossings for amateur sport competitions.

The Sporting Life on the Coast program provides travel subsidies to amateur athletes, teams and coaches for travel to and from coastal communities along the Georgia Straight for competitions. The subsidy will allow athletes from across British Columbia to attend more competitions recognized and sanctioned by the Provincial Sport Organizations, reduce overall travel expenses, and increase the number of athletes able to attend competitions across the province.

In the first three months of the program, Sport BC and BC Ferries have helped over 70 amateur sport teams from across British Columbia with travel to sport competitions. “This equates to over $16,000 in travel expense savings,” said Rick Christiaanse, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at Sport BC.

As a sponsor of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, BC Ferries is expanding their commitment to amateur sport through the Sporting Life on the Coast program. Through its corporate commitment and social responsibility to support amateur sport in British Columbia, BC Ferries has committed $75,000 for amateur sport travel subsidies between June 2008 and March 2009. These subsidies aid with the financial cost of passenger and vehicle travel on all participating BC Ferries’ routes.

“This is just one of the programs Sport BC has developed in partnership with BC Ferries to invest in the future of amateur sport athletes,” said Rick Christiaanse. “This is reflected in our unwavering commitment to setting higher standards, bringing forth innovations and championing the cause of sport. We are working with corporate partners, including BC Ferries, to create resources that build a sustainable sport sector.”

BC Ferries has committed an additional $85,000 to support Sport BC’s KidSport™ and the Athlete of the Year® programs. “We know that sport participation helps people lead fuller, more satisfying lives by connecting them to their neighbours, their community and their own physical well-being,” said David L. Hahn, BC Ferries’ President and CEO. “With this partnership, we have the ability to help kids who might not otherwise have the opportunity to participate in organized sport.”

Sport BC is a not-for-profit organization built on the belief of creating and sustaining healthy communities. For more than 40 years Sport BC has been the federation for organized amateur sport in British Columbia; providing valuable shared services and value-added programs to its membership, and the sport sector. Sport BC represents more than 80 member organizations including 65 Provincial Sport Organizations.

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