Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Spin.



Update: See bottom of post for the total number of hard landings on the Washington State Ferry system in both 2010 and 2011.


BC Ferries AND Keith Baldrey are both (surprise!) telling us that we should just make like Bobby McFerrin when we find ourselves worrying our pretty little heads about the corporation's record on 'hard landings':

"...Of course, four "hard" landings so far this year seems excessive. But BC Ferries responds that its fleet sails more than 187,000 times a year and averages about a dozen hard landings (of various degrees) a year, which seems to put things in perspective..."


Let's dissect all of the spin runnin' round in that single sentence, shall we.

First, as we have already discussed, there is the matter of the pure and unadulterated bullshit that is the term 'hard landing'.

Specifically, the landing at Duke Point was a crash - pure and simple.

Second, there is the attempt to bamboozle with numbers.

187,000 'trips' per year?

So what.

And if Vancouver's airport had 'only' a dozen 'hard landings/crashes' in each and every one of those five years (i.e. 60 'hard landings/crashes' in total) I'm pretty sure that the media and, in turn, the public would be screaming bloody murder

Third, there is the matter of all those 'hard landings/crashes' being put in 'perspective' by the good Mr. Baldrey.

Which had Chris Montgomery wondering if Mr. Baldrey had a comparable reference that was used to generate such a 'perspective'.

Seeing none in Mr. Baldrey's column, or in other media reports on the matter, Ms. Montgomery did something that Mr. Baldrey et al., apparently, did not.

Which was to call up the comparably-sized Washington State Ferry service and ask them how many 'hard landings/crashes' they have had recently:

The answer, from the polite folks in the communications department, who could easily have ignored a call that was not coming from a major newspaper or TV station, or even from the U.S., was as follows:

“Regarding the number of hard landings that Washington State Ferries have experienced in 2010 and 2011 – the answer is two.”

Perspective my ass.

Or maybe that should be someone else's.

Ass, I mean.

And, again, for those 'shocked' by both my language and my inference, it was BC Ferries and Mr. Baldrey who decided to wurlitzer the/their numbers and the/their 'perspective'.
There is much more in Mr. Baldrey's column that, in my opinion, requires Fisking before it becomes 'conventional wisdom'.....That is coming.
And just to be absolutely clear the TOTAL number of hard landings for BOTH 2010 and 2011 for Washington State Ferries was two. Which is an average of, if I still remember what a demoninator is, is one....We know this because, not only did she do the initial digging, she also double-checked (see update at the bottom of her post)



Rusty M said...

Perhaps, come election time we should all make like Roger Daltrey ... "We Won't Get Fooled Again"

Grant G said...

Here is a quote from Baldrey` column..

"Labour costs have gone from just under $200 million in 2003 to about $266 million this year. And interest and amortization costs (largely resulting from building badly needed new vessels and upgrading terminals) have skyrocketed, going from $68 million eight years ago to almost $200 million this year."

Read more:

Get ready for some fun Mr. K

Up next, a series of comments, transcript and fact..

Question, up to $200 million(this year)for amortization...For what?

Boats..upgrades at terminals and...

And $500 million dollars for General revenue, BC Ferries paid $500 million dollars to the BC Government, and that money is the largest part of BC Ferries debt, fraud by any other name...

Stay tuned..

Grant G said...

Strut her stuff Christy

This line in Sean Holman`s article sums it up perfectly.

"Clark has always been content to focus on being the brand for a team of supporters who are responsible for everything else -- in some cases, since the beginnings of her political career"

Christy wants to be the focus of attention while others work and take the blame.

I listened for years to Christy on CKNW for years, all her years and..

There wasn`t any subject on which her original position couldn`t be twisted by the elites with degrees, with the exception of her non-stop verbal assault on teachers, she was also very partisan, an NDP basher at every opportunity.

Grant G said...

An actual Transcript of the Christy Clark show on cknw

This is an actual transcript I received from the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council after filed a complaint against Christy from the CBSC...I filed against this episode.


The Christy Clark show ....The transcript.....Christy Clark`s words...

Clark "How much of a difference has his leadership made at BC Ferries? It`s a company that now delivers a half a billion dollars in profit back to you and I !{sic} the taxpayers and don`t forget, we didn`t start making this profit until after David Hahn took over and started cleaning it up. So how much is that worth to you? And to me, the people who pay taxes in this Province? Yes, we could cut David Hahn`s pay. We could save the corporation maybe a hundred, two hundred, maybe three hundred grand a year. And then when he leaves and is replaced by somebody who`s willing to work for less, how much profit will there be left for the taxpayer to garner? Would we be earning four hundred million instead of five? Three hundred million insted of five? Maybe we`d be earning the same amount. The fact is no one knows. But are you willing to take that risk? Are you willing to risk hundreds of millions in profits to save perhaps a couple of hundred thousand dollars in salary?
The fact is that leadership really does matter. And in the case of BCFerries, it`s pretty easy to argue David Hahn`s leadership in particular has made a very, very big difference. Is he overpaid? I don`t know. I `m not really sure what the job is worth. But I do know that five hundred million dollars in profit back to you and I {sic} the taxpayer, is a pretty good deal.
What do you think...604-280-9898...*9898 on your cell.

Grant G said...

I was the first caller up..Part II

And then I was first caller up....."Hi Brian"

Brian..Hi Christy, you know, I don`t know where you get your facts from, but you know BC Ferries has a $1.4 billion dollar capital debt. In the last fiscal reported quarter, April, May and june of this year, they didn`t even make enough money to cover their operating expenses and interest payments, which is fifty million dollar per year on their capital debt. Plus the Province subsidizes BC Ferries to the tune of almost two hundred million dollars a year. Where do you get this $500 million dollar profit amount from?

Clark--They, they return that to the taxpayer. It is on, you can find it in public accounts.

Brian--Yea, well, I suggest that you do a little more scanning and talk to Gary Coons, uh the, ferry critic....Because BC Ferries is in, is right now, is in a financial disaster.uh!

Clark-but they don`t have a fi, they don`t have a capital debt, though. Brian, because

Brian--Yes they do!..$1.4 billion dollars!

Clark-No, hold on, hold on, listen, listen, listen! listen. They don`t have a capital debt. though, because of David Hahn. They have a capital debt largely because we spent so much money on the fast ferries that there was no money left over to actually look after the ferries that were going to work in british Columbia. They had to build new ferries.

Brian--No, your wrong on that. Christy, because when Hahn took over, all the debt that BC Ferries had was retired by the Province. Hahn came in there was a clean slate. And this $1.4 billion dollar debt has been gathered up since Hahn has been at the-

Clark-But he, but, Brian, my point is he came in with BC Ferries that were, a fleet that was, in such a bad state of dis-repair, I mean, some of the ferries were, I think, thirty or forty years old


Clark-They had to be upgraded

Brian-No, no no

Clark-and there was no money to do it because it had been misspent in previous years. That money for the fast ferries should have gone into upgrading the fleet over those years.

Brian--Christy, I have been riding the ferries for thirty years. The, the Langdale run, the island, there are no more sailings than there ever was {sic} The schedule`s been the same for three decades on the

Grant G said...

Part III

Sunshine coast. Uh, they sunk a ferry under Hahn...The fast ferries were a bad design and, and is at issue, but, that the fast ferries had nothing to do with maintenance of the fleet-


Brian-Or money taken away from ferries-

Clark-Of course it did!

Brian-No it didn`t!

Clark-Of course it did, all those years-

Brian-Look at the convention center--

Clark-All of, oh, come on! Leave the convention center out of this! That`s, that`s crazy. The money that went into the fast ferries was diverted from BC Ferries budget and it shoud have gone into replacing the ancient archaic, old fleet. And it didn`t! That`s why there`s a capital debt at BC ferries. Make no doubt. There is absolutely no doubt about that. The convention center doesn`t have a whole lot to do with that Brian.


Christy Clark was then forced to retract, on air!

It wasn`t a very good retraction but she fulfilled CBSC`s ruling.


Grant G said...

And to further the story..

Look at the fiscal shape of BC Ferries and where is David Hahn today!

And where is that $500 million dollar prfofit!

At this time in BC History David Hahn`s wage was just revealed, it was revealed that he was making over $500 K a year..Clark was sent in to defend Hahn and the BC Liberals..

She made false claims, false facts, she spun and twisted defending Hahn and his wage..

She refused to accept all the facts and links I sent on the True state of BC Ferries, therefor the complaint was filed..

Grant G said...

Christy`s on air retraction was lame.

I contacted BC Ferries after Christy made her subtle retraction late on a Friday afternoon, I asked Debra Marshall where Christy got the information she used in her subtle retraction..

Here is the complete letter from Debra Marshall at BC Ferries sent to me.

" The government used to own the controlling interest in BC Ferries, which had a book value of $503,178,000.

On April 2,2003, the government issued BC Ferries a debenture for $427,701,000, which BC Ferries promised to pay in cash.

In addition,at that time,the government was issued 75,477 non-voting preferred shares in BC Ferries,valued at $1000 per share.

On may 27,2004, BC Ferries paid the debenture of $427,701,000 to the government.BC Ferries had also paid the government interest on the debenture of $25,879,191.49.

For the government`s preferred shares, BC Ferries pays an 8% dividend per year of $6,038,160. We`ve paid that annually for six years for a total of $36,228,960.

In summary,BC Ferries has paid the province $489,809,000."

Honesty, no way...Another bullshitter politician towing the corporate line!

Good Day

Grant G said...

For the record..

The retraction Christy Clark made..

Christy`s retraction tried to connect the $489,000,000 from the debenture paid to BC`s general revenue and make it sound like profit, it wasn `t, it was borrowed money, money that BC Ferries borrowed through the debenture, money that BC Ferries pays interest on, money that went into General revenue.

Smoke, mirrors and plain old dishonesty.

Grant G said...

Yes indeed folks, there are 2 issues, the crash, the damage, let`s talk about BONUS money for being on time!

The second issue is Government/Baldrey spin...

Transport Canada(for safety reasons) require X-amount of employees...Not a punitive measure as espoused by Baldrey..

Wages, Hahn..$1 million plus...Plus 5 others at about $500-$600 K per year, it adds up Balderdash, it was wrong!, and if it wasn`t wrong the BCLiberals would not have changed it!(Washington state ferry CEO makes less than $200 K per year..

Breakdown after breakdown of German boats, gas guzzlers that mainly sit idle while our BC Spirit class vessels run...

Interest payment on a $1.6...Going on $1.7 billion dollar debt...

BC Ferries are paying almost double the interest rate on this debt,if they were crown Corporation rather than a quasi-private ATM for Campbell`s friends the interest rate would be halved..

BC Ferries could save nearly $40 million per year by simply making it part of Government and re-finance their debt...

Of which $500 million dollars of BC Ferries debt went straight into General revenue..

Crimes have been committed!

Anonymous said...

We don't use BC ferries as often as we used to, but on three occasions we have had landings which may not be described as hard still tried to knock those standing down . You were tossed sideways pretty good. They were the times we were stuck on the german made pretty but not functional boats.

Grant G said...



kootcoot said...

Considering that the CEO of Washington State Ferries earns a FRACTION of even the new CEO's reduced (compared to the million dollar Kraut Admiral Hahn) salary, perhaps if we paid our BC Ferries CEO MINIMUM WAGE, the old one, there would be ZERO hard landings, no crashes or sinkings...........

Perhaps the less you pay the more you gets.....after all look at the Masters of Wall Street, where those who earn the most produce NOTHING of value (compared to these criminals with MBAs, even doctors and lawyers make small change), merely gamble with other people's money, and win no matter how the other peoples make out and get bailed out by the taxpayer, or rewarded for failure (yet renegotiating a fraudulent mortgage engenders "moral hazard" - go figure) and I'm starting to think we should start a new campaign to reduce the minimum wage in order to receive better service.........and the more important the job, the lower the wage, then the bigshots would have to learn to derive satisfaction from a job well done. Meanwhile the guy preparing my burger should get 5 mil annually to make up for the boring nature of his job (and so he doesn't spit on my burger)!

Just sayin, or as Babe sez, just foolin' around!

Anonymous said...

Thank you sir. I've had my way with Mr. Baldry.

RossK said...

On my way Mr. Station....

(thanks Grant and Rusty, also)


RossK said...

And Koot!

oceantor said...

Question? Who was CEO before David Hahn and what was his salary? A million dollars a year seems a little much.