Friday, January 27, 2012

BC Ferries: The Little Private Monopoly That Couldn't


Robert Matas, consistently the best thing going in The Globe, BC Division, has a pretty good analysis of the Ferry's Commisioner's report up. Here's his lede:

BC Ferries commissioner Gord Macatee has called for a major overhaul in a review of ferry operations released earlier this week. He urged the B.C. government to abandon its commitment to a user pay system and drop its opposition to major routes subsidizing the less-travelled ones. He recommended that fares be capped at the rate of inflation over the next three years.

His proposals would require a significant shift in ideology for the B.C. Liberal government. Accepting the recommendations could lead to substantial government subsidies. The Liberals would be reversing what they have done over the past decade....

And blogger 'spartikus' has a very nice analysis up over at his place, which is all the more impressive given that he is self-declared as a non-economist:

....(I)t’s kind of fundamental – whom does BC Ferries compete with? Whose competition is forcing them into the ever greater efficiencies the “crucible of the market” is supposed to force? I’m not an expert on ferries or transportation systems, but even I – a liberal arts student! – have never understood this crazy system the BC Liberals have set up (in more than one area). Privatization without competition is monopoly and a private monopoly is worse, much worse, than a public one. At least in democratic states where the rule of law is well-established, which try as the Liberals may to undermine it, British Columbia has and retains...


Kinda funny, donch'a think, that David Hahn ain't 'round no more to take the heat on this one.

The again, even though BCF is once again subject to FOI requests, it is quite possible that if Mr. Hahn flew in today, they'd send a limousine anyway.




cherylb said...

they're idiots. people who knew what they were talking about told them when they were doing their "Core Review" that the system we had was the best. Ten wasted years, tons of money and a whole lot of damage done to coastal communities. For what? Yet another failed Lieberal experiment.

RossK said...

They are definitely 'i' somethings cheryl.

At the very least 'ideologues' of the most radical kind when it comes to privatization.

Which, at the very least, is sheer lunacy when it goes on for an entire decade and is clearly not working.

(and why did it go on for a decade when it was clearly not working....well, I would think that most folks who stop by here have a pretty good idea of who helped that go down)


lenin's ghost said...

I think that there is some confusion here.
I have no problem with 'ideologues'. The problem is with the right wing ideology.
The pigs did exactly what they wanted. They succeeded in saving money from being spent on the ferry system to give to their friends.
I like 'ideologues' because I know where they stand on issues, but these pigs are not for people but for their corporate masters.
Build the f'ing bridge to the island already!!!!!

RossK said...


Tell us how you really feel, would ya, for once.



lenin's ghost said...