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
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.
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.
…The actual service-fee lift will be $10 million this year, $10.5 next year, $11 million, and then $11.5 million…
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.
Well, it was interesting. I don’t know if there’s [inaudible].
You’re not going to call them a bunch of ingrates?
The reality disclosed by audited financial statements of BC Ferry Services, Inc.: