BC Ferries

Ingrates, eh?


One common move by politicians is to announce future funding increases for programs the public supports. Complaisant journalists report the news as if it is certain but somehow forget to tell the audience that commitments are frequently a form of political vapourware – announced and advertised but never actually delivered. One would think that after years of observation, senior Press Gallery pundits would be aware of the game. Maybe it’s the Charlie Brown syndrome.

Maybe it’s something else.

The following item was first published here April 13, 2016.

Transcript from Vaughn Palmer’s Voice of BC, May 2012

Topic: Extra Funding for Ferries

Vaughn Palmer:

This week…. We’ll start with a parochial Vancouver Island guy who lives in Victoria question. You managed to find $80 million for the ferries this week. Did Kevin Falcon turn over the couch cushions or something, and find some money? Where did this money come from?

Blair Lekstrom (Transportation Minister):

…It’s spread over four years, so it breaks down to about $46 million, then another $10.5 million, $11 million, $11.5 million for a total of $79.5 million is what we get to. It is a significant amount of money in these tight fiscal times that we’re in — but we had to do something. There’s no one easy answer to the solution with BC Ferries, that’s for sure.

Vaughn Palmer:

What does this lift the annual subsidy from the two levels of government, too, for the ferries? It must be getting close to $200 million.

Blair Lekstrom:

…The actual service-fee lift will be $10 million this year, $10.5 next year, $11 million, and then $11.5 million…

Vaughn Palmer:

In spite of that, I heard a tremendous amount of whining today — and if you’re watching this live, it’s Thursday — from ferry users that it’s still not enough money.

Blair Lekstrom:

Well, it was interesting. I don’t know if there’s [inaudible].

Vaughn Palmer:

You’re not going to call them a bunch of ingrates?

The reality disclosed by audited financial statements of BC Ferry Services, Inc.:

Ferry Service Fees 500

Categories: BC Ferries, Journalism

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10 replies »

  1. Swine, both of them! Then again, at the rate we’re becoming beset by new arrivals there are some who would argue we’d be better off sinking half the ferries. It’s not the cost but the convenience we could do without. It’s becoming increasingly rare for me to find a reason to leave the island. A daughter’s wedding was the last time.


  2. “…a parochial Vancouver Island guy who lives in Victoria…”

    Parochial: having a limited or narrow outlook or scope.

    Vaughn nailed it; or should I say, himself.

    Fijian or Polish stickers on his virtual suitcase? Not likely.


  3. Lew should have referenced Norm’s previous columns for the outrageous details on the Poles and Fijians in case you’re new here. I’d try to expand on them, except I get sick to my stomach just thinking about them.


  4. When reading Palmer often times his descriptions of something that is clearly a Liberal Turd comes off as sounding like a hot fudge sundae and Vaughn is providing the whip cream.


  5. Palmer as usual is just lopping the treats over the fence for the lieberal dogs to catch. Don’t believe a work old Blair is saying either. Using those ferries, lately more than I’d like, but one does have to travel. All I know is I’m still paying too much for the service provided. The staff are good, but the system stinks. some of the Duke Point ferries were the very old and small ones recently. Don’t know where the new ones were. Most likely in dock being repaired or trying to save fuel.

    The old ferries are great. You can actually open the car doors and get out. New ferries, once they use 4 lanes, you frequently can’t get out of your vehicle. Nice safety feature. Don’t know why they have to take ferries to Poland or get them from Germany. those built in B.C. back in 1964 are still running just fine, with all the room to spare to open vehicle doors. You wonder why they sold them so cheap to some other country. It would be cheaper to purchase a ferry to live on than a home in the Vancouver/Victoria area.


  6. Mr. Leckstrom must have been confused or deliberately misleading. In his first statement he tells Mr. Palmer that the lift will total $79.5 million over the four-year period while in his second statement he seems to have lost $36 million in the first year making the commitment $43 million over the same time period. I guess it would have been improper for Mr. Palmer to ask for a clarification on this discrepancy.

    Fast forward to your graph and it seems that the word “lift” must have really meant reduction.

    I suspect that if there were a different political party at the helm Mr. Palmer would delve into the obvious differences between the promises and reality. As such is not the case, I won’t hold my breath.


  7. Norm, you misunderstand the system.

    If Liberals build a $500 million bridge that actually costs $3.5 billion, they are allowed to say they saved $1.5 billion because, if the NDP had been in power, the price tag would have been $5 billion.

    Similarly, if they reduce BC Ferries funding, they are allowed to say it is an increase because, but for a new commitment, support for ferries would have been even less.

    Besides, any financial problems at BC Ferries are the direct result of decisions made by Glen Clark almost 20 years ago.


  8. oh I do love the b.c. lieberals complaints its all Glen Clark’s fault 20 years ago. Well 20 years later, Glen Clark is the President of the Paterson Group. el gordo, is still at the public trough, still not figuring out how to get a real job with out the help of political friends.

    the B.C. Ferries is just another e.g. of how the b.c. lieberals really don’t know how to do business. its the old buying high and selling low that gets them every time. oh, well its working for some one, just not us the taxpayers.


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