Sunday, April 26, 2015

Denman's New Crossing...The Hahn In The Cable Machine.


We've been writing quite a bit about the exploits of BC Ferries post-Daveyboy CEO Mike Corrigan lately (see here and here).

Which spurred 'scotty from denman' to drop by and remind us that the ferry system that is still (kinda/sorta but maybe not) ours is much more than Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay, return:

A large proportion of the Denman Island ferry workers have been offered packages by the dys-management so's, it seems, to be rid of them before the hated cable ferry is launched. There seems to be an increasing number of symptoms of political toxicity affecting the BC Liberals' and their minions at BC Ferries Services Inc, the freakish "privatized"---but not really---public ferry system. BCFS Inc is plainly nervous about its image, purging any potentially disgruntled workers (presumably to be replaced with a few happy, smiling deckhands) whose demeanours might augment those of disgruntled ferry-riders. The Corrigan twaddle is just another symptom. And the Comox Valley Echo newspaper has, a la Black Press' amity for its neo-right government, has (co-incidentally?) fluffed out more puffery by way of staff-writer Drew Penner's April 21 piece on the pending cable-ferry.

Penner shows a modicum of journalistic integrity by acknowledging the cable-ferry "hasn't been the most landmine-free build ever," referring to locals' fury at planned job-cuts (not including the early severances). Despite the BC Liberals' assertion that the ferries are arm's-length and "private", the rest of Penner's piece reads as much like propaganda as it does like advertisement. Perhaps only Islanders will get the irony Penner pens of BC Ferry's cable-ferry rationale to "maintain the same level of service locals have come to expect": fact is Denman and Hornby Islanders have come to expect reduced service like the three sailings recently eliminated, and the highest rate of fare increased of any BC Ferry run. With regard to questions about cable-ferry safety, Penner quotes BC Ferries as saying "We've got a proven track record for safety and reliability," never questioning how that could be before the cable-ferry is even launched. Great advertisement, excellent propaganda, Drew, but journalism? Nuh-uh, not much.

Too bad cuz I was wondering how Transport Canada's gonna certify this run with three of its six deckhands eliminated. I mean, what if there's a vehicle fire halfway across? Is three enough to take care of the fire, the ferry and the passengers all at the same time?

Resort to absurdism is symptomatic of an increasingly self-conscious, nervous government. It would only serve as extra proof if we could be apprised of caucus prayer sessions beseeching that the cable-ferry had better work as billed, and the ferries system in general had better start providing serviceable advertisement and propaganda---this absurdism is plainly getting old.

Thanks, as always, scotty.



Anonymous said...

wait til a winter storm from ne comes in.the side walls maybe too short.?

Anonymous said...

Safety record?

Queen of north sinks 2 dead and how did that happen?
Departure bay ferry leaves and minivan on ramp drops into ocean ,at least 1 died.
BCFerry and ship collide near active pass

Scroll down to accidents and incidents

Anonymous said...

the cable ferry build is a disaster, huge over runs. Some of the mistakes and screw ups are just mind boggling and the ferry is just a barge more or less. But what is to be expected when there is no one in charge that knows how to build a marine vehicle(boat). I can't even fathom how they will build the new boats for the Federal Gov't.

scotty on denman said...

Thank you very much for featuring this, Ross. This cable-ferry is just the tip of a huge berg of frozen canned worms. Attempting to open just a few invites stereotypical vitriol from the local press (all Black's Press). It's enough to make Islanders a bit paranoid---like the BC Liberals are out to get us. Crazy? I've wondered as much---until I saw the populations of both Hornby and Denman drop significantly for the first time since WWII, along with property assessments, enterprises, students, jobs, etc., (whilst the Comox Valley in general has continued to grow in all these areas) attributable, all here agree, to skyrocketing ferry rates.

But I don't want to make Islanders sound like the "spoiled whiners" we've so often been tagged in local letters to the editor. It's probably too pedantic by half to note that WAC Bennet created a duty of care by nationalizing the private ferry companies and inviting citizens to avail themselves of the opportunity to invest in their homes, businesses and communities accessed by these public transportation links.

I would, however, like to remind that the local cable-ferry controversy is symptomatic of a more general, but equally serious, dys-management of the whole ferry system which belongs to, and benefits economically, every citizen in BC. It's just my way of answering a rhetorical question posed by a BC Liberal candidate a few elections ago: "Why should we [Northeast British Columbians] subsidize ferries for a bunch of rich retirees living on a Gulf Island?" I could respond by turning that question around, but I would never condone abandoning my compatriots by forcing them to pay out of their own pockets for maintaining the highway link to their own region.

Thanx again,

Anonymous said...

word salad party?

e.a.f. said...

Drew Penner? Journalist? ya, not so much, in my opinion. Brought in from Alberta, not the best e.g. of a reporter. When you read some of his other stuff you wonder how did he get this job.

Now as to the b.c. ferries and this cable business. I'm waiting for the first disaster and the number of lives lost. I might take it in the summer, but in the winter, not so much. This thing is going to sink in the first good storm, or it can't sale when there is an emergency. Obviously no one at the B.C. Ferries has gone out to see what the coast line looks like after a big storm. there are boulders and huge logs which are moved just by the currents. That cable ferry will go under with one good wave. of course we can then look forward to the "queen of photo-ops" there with her spin doctors crying about the whole thing, black suit and all. lets hope the future customers of this new "system" have good lawyers. Their families can start planning the law suites now. This cable ferry system isn't going to work in this environment.

by the way, thank you to Scotty

Anonymous said...

Ross, Being a science geek, you might enjoy Captain Peter C Kimmerly's take on the utter folly of this cable ferry debacle:

RossK said...

Thanks everybody--

Super busy week.

I'll follow-up soon.


scotty on denman said...


It's the public's ferry system--they need to know. The government that said the ferries needed to be put out of the reach of "political interference" have in fact launched an ambitious ideological agenda which goes far, far beyond the tinkering any previous government ever did. The BC Liberals need a little political interference themselves.

Most expect a sharp increase in cancelled sailings due to beam-on wind and waves. The route cuts straight across our usual southeast storm winds and the slips have no breakwater lee.

People are very pissed off about this here.

Anonymous said...

when nothing goes right.. go left .in 2017?

Anonymous said...

Where did you go?

Don F. said...

Ross, is everything O.K.

Don F. said...

Everything OK Ross???

RossK said...

All's fine Don - thanks.

Just super busy with (real) work.


dgrb said...

FYI Scotty: when I worked for a major multi-national we used to refer to "the damagement".

Thought you might like to use that one.