Friday, March 25, 2016

This Day In Clarkland...All Our Ferries Are Theirs.


As you all probably know by now, it's not just the Kraut Rock Celebrations that are not ours, it is now the Spirits too.

Andrew Duffy of the VTC has the story:

A Polish shipyard has won a $140-million contract from B.C. Ferries to conduct the mid-life upgrades of the two Spirit-class vessels.

Gdansk-based Remontowa, the largest ship-repair yard in Poland, won the contract after a competitive bidding process.

B.C. Ferries spokeswoman Deborah Marshall confirmed it is the first time the corporation has sent a vessel offshore for refit.

“But this isn’t just a refit, it’s a massive project, not the typical refit that we do,” she said...

With that in mind...



Now, there is a bit of tidy-up bit in A. Duffy's VTC piece that the Clarklandians' 'digital influencers' are using to whack folks up the side of the head with on the interwebz:

...Seaspan pulled out of the bidding process, however, since its three shipyards — Vancouver, Victoria and its drydock — are too busy to handle the work.

“We are at capacity at all three yards, and the National Shipbuilding Strategy work we are doing for the federal government is a major priority for us,” said Seaspan Shipyards president Brian Carter in a statement...

But here's the thing, as was pointed out when we talked about the awarding of the Celebration contracts off-shore years ago, and those long, long, long term laundry contracts much more recently...

When you pick the and, in the case of GordCo, Inc. and the Clarklandians too, these winners are more often than not those that have paid handsomely to do their playing, you eliminate the cronies' competition.

Which leads me to wonder, all over again, why the so-called political party of free enterprise hates it so much?

Free enterprise, I mean.



Unknown said...

Clarklland: where no shipyard exists except foreign owned Seaspan. Free enterprise my butt, as our once home-grown ferries are spirited away to foreign shores. The Poles get the vodka, we get the hangover

RossK said...


Do I recall correctly that there was desire to do a wee bit of union-busting when the decision was made to build the Celebrations off-shore?


North Van's Grumps said...

maybe its a ploy on the part of the bc liberal government to encourage refugees to stay in europe and have full time jobs rather than coming to british columbia only to discover that albertans have the jobs

e.a.f. said...

Not even the Albertans have the jobs. Of course they might be better paid in Poland than in B.C. given our min. wage is the lowest in Canada.

You wonder why they would have the ferries worked on in Europe. There are still ferries floating which have the plaques on them regarding retro fits done in B.C. and while they were retro fitting them they cut them in half to "stretch" them. First they have to ship them there and bring them home. that a real waste of fuel and loss of jobs.

We have 40K unemployed oil field workers and their skill sets aren't that different from what is needed to do the work here. But B.C. Lieberal/Cons like sending work to Europe. Perhaps they can go "visit" the work in progress and going to Europe is so much more fun than just going to North Vancouver. B.C. once again is going to loose a lot of jobs. So who is getting what out of this deal?

when el gordo had the ferries built in Germany, he was able to borrow the money there plus an extra, what was that amount a billion or $750M? Regardless perhaps some one better with figures could find out how this work is being paid for, who is financing it, and is B.C. Ferries going to "borrow" another 3/4 of a billion or full billion. enquiry tax payers always like to know. If the B.C. Lieberal/Cons are borrowing, B.C. Ferry Corp carries the debt and the money goes into the provincial coffers. Then there is the money for Christy's "photo op fund" oh, sorry, its the prosperity fund. Must be why they're thinking about raising the min. wage 20 cents. The province is feeling prosperous so Shirley Bond thought she'd "share" with the kids living below the poverty line, yes those one in five children.

Wonder how many B.C. Lieberal/Cons, B.C. Ferry execs, etc. have travelled to Poland lately, how much did they get paid and did some get "just the right amount of crazy"?

it does make one wonder where the B.C. NDP is these days.

Lew said...

So why did Seaspan bid on the contract if it was too busy to do the work? Seems to me the fact they were overloaded should have been picked up in the short-listing process by BC Ferries.

Anonymous said...

According to CFAX " Total cost of the project will be 200 million dollars, including the cost of transporting the ships to and from Europe, and import taxes."
Wasn't it Christy Clark who keeps telling us we will be world leaders in LNG... except to retrofit a BC Ferry: " "The ability to do a large scale conversion, and to do it on LNG as well, and I mean that's your main driver of why the vessels are going over there"

There is no reason why government should push for this retrofit in BC and to use it as a training project as well. Take the millions out of TV ads and put it into the extra cost of the retrofit and at the same time have trained BC individuals. The project is slated to start in 2017 which should give Seaspan time to adjust. I agree I'm not an expert on how busy Seaspan is but I do agree with doing our best to keep jobs at home.
BTW, John Horgan has expressed his displeasure with this decision but the media is ignoring him. Maybe that's why the Lib's are talking about increasing the minimum wage ?

Guy in Victoria

RossK said...


These fine folks would never, ever use Zombie bidders to legitimize a rigged process, would they?



Anonymous said...

I hear two of the three short listed shipyards pull out of the process, so much for a competitive bid.
Speaking of bids - It is an interesting question as to why Seaspan bids knowing it is too busy.
Seaspan is so busy its own new car ferries are being built in Turkey.

Lew said...

RossK, I'm sure Keef will inform all soon he's heard rumblings Bruce Clark doesn't even speak Polish.

Anonymous said...

To e.a.f., the BC NDP are alive and well but they are not reported in the MSM. You have to check their website.

RossK said...


Do you know who the second bidder that pulled out was?




Actually, I'm surprised Mr. B. hasn't already 'xplained to we plebes that Seaspan only bid as a return, but entirely good faith, favour for those boats they took off of GordCo Inc's hands that they later sold to the UAE for an 'undisclosed' amount.

Snark-O-Leptically speaking, of course.



Anon-Above knows of what he or she speaks...Although, to be fair, they did manage to hook Mr. Smyth this week.


Norm Farrell said...

A new and important development in the worlds of ferry building and crimes.

Dots that may connect

Makes one go "hmmmm."

Anonymous said...

Follow Norm's link ^^ for the full reveal, but here's the conclusion:

"There is troubling pattern of BC government agencies contracting with companies outside the province with ethical deficits, even accusations that bribery was used to gain contracts. SNC-Lavalin is one, Malaysian Government owned Petronas is another and ethical questions have been raised about Site C contractors.

When BC Liberals destroy communications and fail to document government business, they are either involved in or setting the stage for illegal activities. Christy Clark runs a government that lacks moral principle.

Hugh said...

Vancouver Olympics 2026?

Thanks but no thanks. Please.

Anonymous said...

Built outside the country, does not come under public scrutiny.
No pub gossip or shipyards workers comments to their friends.
Just PR releases.
Controlling the message.

e.a.f. said...

Just read Norm Farrell's blog post on B.c. Ferries. So to A: why didn't the NDP do this type of work? Why wasn't the "critic for B.C. Ferries" doing this type of work? Why weren't the constituencies in which this work could have been done writing letters to the editor to papers in their areas. It just isn't PostMedia out there. Black Press will print letters which are not favourable to the B.C. Lieberals, as long as they are factual. They've printed a ton of mine and I thank them for it.

Unknown said...

RossK: Yes, it was nothing but union busting. And guess which ferries are continually laid up and under-perform? Why, none other than the Flensburg Failure, the Bremen Boondoggle and the Kiel Katastrophe

North Van's Grumps said...

If Senator Mike Duffy wanted to redeem himself in the eyes of Canadian maritime provinces, including British Columbia, he could introduce a Duffy Act, just like that of US Senator Jones which explains why Washington Ferries are "Born in the USA":

Jones Act

coastal shipping) and requires that all goods transported by water between U.S. ports be carried on U.S.-flag ships, constructed in the United States, owned by U.S. citizens, and crewed by U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents

Chuckstraight said...

I know many unemployed UNION tradespeople that are unemployed and have run out of EI .
Of course it makes sense to send work away to another Country to have work done?!
More union busting by Christy Clark.
No point to go to MLA- they will send a reply by a staff member saying they are saving money .
That`s what I got back from my MLA about the laundry privatization in Kelowna.

Anonymous said...

The conclusion is clear. The BC Liberals are involved in organized crime...period. Engagement with foreign or domestic corporations with a history of criminal behaviors, breach of trust, bribery, fraud etc., places the "crown" in disrepute.
This problem needs an investigation, the email scandal and lack of proper records in governance speaks volumes.
We are being systematically "lied" to ignored and shut out of democracy in this province, by an arrogant and self serving group of organized criminals. The people pulling the strings here, know very well what they are doing, and "think" they can get away with.
Had enough yet?
The corruption is obvious, the sooner these clowns are tried and jailed, the better. Our democracy is in need of serious repairs.

davemj said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RossK said...

Thanks all.


Interesting bit in there...

"In early 2015 Senator John McCain filed for an amendment that would essentially annul the Act."

And to think.

Mr. McCain and his viceroy could have been running the free world for the last eight years.

North Van's Grumps said...

RossK thanks for the link.

If McCain amendment made it past the US marine contractor lobbyists there could be 'a loss of 500,000 jobs and nearly $100 Billion in annual economic impact.' and of course the other aspect of the Jones Act is Security of their Borders. More illegals would be slipping through.

RossK said...


And, as the Trumpinator might (or might not) say (who really knows what he will say about anything)...That last bit is Yuuuuuuugggggge!


Scotty on Denman said...

Forgive me if I change the subject---slightly---to another ferry fact: a friend whom I was to pick up on Denman after walking over on the "BS Connector" ( "BS" short for "Baynes Sound"---and other stuff) or, as we call it here, the "cable-ferry", was made to wait for a later run because there are not enough lifejackets to go around.

That's right, the new ferry which nobody here or Hornby Island approved of, the one which we and our fellow Hornby Islanders were assured would provide the same service as the previous, self-propelled HMS Quinitsa, has HALF the number of lifejackets, this in order to reduce the crew from six to three deckhands.

Forgive me if I've explained this already, but this simple exercise is illustrative: imagine a vehicle fire ignites among a full load of 55 cars on a hot, sunny, summer day with kids running around the car deck and tourists snapping photos, etc.; now imagine the three crew (there are now actually four to meet federal regulations---but BCFS Inc is proudly suing for one less) deployed to deal with the situation: one, at least, will have to attend to the flames, one to deal with the people, and one to ready the lifeboats. (BTW, unlike a self-propelled boat, the cable-ferry cannot turn blowing smoke and flames away from, say, life boats.) That's the simplest, smallest fire imaginable. Now imagine a fire where people are stuck inside the vehicle---flames issuing from underneath---the usual situation, in my experience---and lapping up BOTH sides of the vehicle. Now imagine TWO of the three deckhands having to deal with it. Who deals with the rest of the passengers or the lifeboats? I think you can see the problem with only three deckhands, even with the simplest situation. Almost needless to say, you invite passengers to ride, you must plan for ANY contingency, not just the simplest one; for example, a bridge is overbuilt to bear several-fold more weight than it actually will ever carry.

The basic premise of the new ferry was to save money---ostensibly, anyways, because at this early day, it looks like it will actually cost more than the Quinitsa (budget already far, far blown, and repairs required almost daily, requiring the Quinitsa to stand-by with contingent crew)---that is, NOT to provide safe and reliable service for which the government long ago created a duty of care. The neo-right ideological policy to bankrupt and sell to profiteering friends for pennies-on-the-dollar all public enterprises, and to smash public-sector labour unions has, in at least this case, gotten priorities backward. As I recall from by scant engineering education, the rule is: safety first. Not second, not third, or any other order---and especially not last.

PS How did BCFS Inc slip this one past normally scrutinizing Islanders? The service which it promised would remain the same was expressed in numbers of cars, not passengers; thus, when, say, fifty cars with a driver and two passengers each is loaded (150 passengers), no walk-ons are allowed because it exceeds to number of lifejackets on board. Judging by the reaction to my post on the Denman Bulletin Board, nobody was aware of this.

PPS Did you know that the metal lifejacket lockers fore and aft on the cable-ferry are uninsulated, unventilated and unheated (in contrast to other ferries)? This preposterous attempt to "save money" means the vests are, at only a couple months old, already beginning to moulder and rot. At this rate, nobody will be allowed to board pretty soon.

e.a.f. said...

omg. I've always have a life jacket in my van, so I'm still good to go. 3 crew members even on a small ferry will mean there could be a lot of deaths in case of a fire. On the up side it won't take good swimmers to reach the shore and start the law suits.

never let it be side the B.C. Lieberals cared about citizens safety and health. We had 4 children die in care; 1 out of 5 children live below the poverty line; disabled have to live on $908 plus $21 per month. now approx. 500K don't have family doctors--just think how many will die from not being diagnosed in time. Its reasonaable to conclude the B.C. lieberals don't care if we live or die. if they do care, they have a funny way of showing it.

Yikes, wonder when the ferries come back from Poland if they'll reduce staff on those to save even more money. 3 crew members is just crazy. I know those ferries and that water.

Anonymous said...

Why do we ship our money offshore when it comes to ship building - refitting? It makes no sense whatsoever. My son just got hired at Seaspan. Good wages that get spent here, not Poland or Germany. He's ecstatic with the job, great SAFE working conditions compared to the construction industry, a future for both him and my grandchildren and benefits that should be standard.
But instead the money goes to Poland instead of benefiting both B.C.'s and Canada's economy. Why do the Clark neocon gang hate the average Joe workers so much?