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  #61  
Old Posted Dec 16, 2008, 1:36 PM
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can I get a Go raggedy13 Go!?!?
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  #62  
Old Posted Dec 16, 2008, 5:02 PM
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Ahhh... Politics...

Debating Politics isn't much different than debating what is the best color.
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  #63  
Old Posted Dec 16, 2008, 6:30 PM
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ravman you voted for the first time? I hope that means you are 18, because if you've been spouting political crap and complaining about the government without voting, you need a slap.

All that being said, I used to take the Tyee seriously, but now I don't. They're up there with the Fraser Institute with their "studies" and opinions that are BS for the most part, totally ignoring the big picture.
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  #64  
Old Posted Dec 16, 2008, 8:40 PM
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Originally Posted by raggedy13 View Post
Ravman, the last article you posted wasn't as politically charged as usual but I'd like to take this opportunity to let you know that you need to stop putting a political slant on everything you can find. Politics need to remain in the Politics subforum. I don't mind if you say "GO CAROL GO" and such from time to time as others do for Gordo/Falcon but you need to take things down a notch, especially when it comes to the odd political rant which you've been known to issue.

I don't care what paper you post articles from or even if they say something bad about a Liberal-initiated project - just don't go to the effort to emphasize the political aspects. It's one thing if you post an article about the ferries not working quite right but you have shown earlier in this thread that you're doing it to make a political statement. If you plan to do such things in the future, do it out of genuine concern for our province's welfare rather then use it for political means. After all it is not like the NDP have a perfect track record, especially when it comes to ferries.

With all that said, if you want to make a BC Ferries specific thread in the Politics sub-forum be my guest.

You're a great contributor otherwise and I don't want to discourage you from continuing that, but please try to save all political discourse for the Politics sub-forum. Thank you.

And that goes for the rest of you as well.
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  #65  
Old Posted Dec 17, 2008, 12:52 AM
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That was one splendid post.
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  #66  
Old Posted Jan 15, 2009, 6:26 AM
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$5.6 million to beef up B.C. ferry security

Updated: Wed Jan. 14 2009 07:52:45

Darcy Wintonyk, ctvbc.ca

WEST VANCOUVER, B.C. — The federal government is committing $5.6 million to improve security on B.C.'s ferry system leading up to the 2010 Olympic Games.


The money will be spent to cover added surveillance equipment, fencing, lighting, communications gear and training for the coastal ferry system and Seabus passenger ferries, says North Vancouver MP Andrew Saxton.


The infusion of cash is the final part of the government's five-year, $115 million marine security program.


The money will go to BC Ferries and the Coast Mountain Bus Co., which runs the Seabus.


Most of the cash will be used for upgrades at the major ferry terminals in Nanaimo, Victoria and West Vancouver. The rest of the fund will be used to upgrade Seabus terminals in downtown Vancouver and North Vancouver.


"In addition to enhancing security of ferry workers and their users, this investment will also encourage trade and tourism and will create a strong foundation for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics," says Saxton.


BC Ferries spokesperson Deborah Marshall confirms the security upgrades have already begun, and the government will reimburse them for the work once it is complete.


The company dealt with at least two bomb threats last year, including an incident in July 2007 that cancelled 21 sailings and stranded thousands of passengers.

Only a few months earlier, Transport Canada gave the Ferry Corporation $3.9 million to increase security on ships and ports, but Marshall says these funds were mostly allocated for perimeter security and new fencing.

Ships sail between Tsawwassen, B.C. and Swartz Bay on Vancouver Island almost hourly. Larger vessels carry up to 470 vehicles and 2,100 passengers.

http://www.ctvbc.ctv.ca/servlet/an/l...shColumbiaHome
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  #67  
Old Posted Jan 17, 2009, 11:43 PM
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I've heard that on Friday Jan 16th, BC Ferries laid off 55 people, mainly from head office, with more layoffs to come in the Spring. I expect a news release will come out on Monday spinning this to death, because that's all Hahn is good at.
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  #68  
Old Posted Jan 19, 2009, 11:25 PM
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BC Ferry layoffs sign of privatization failure: Coons
By Andrew MacLeod
January 19, 2009 02:03 pm

Job cuts at B.C. Ferry Services Inc. are another sign the publicly owned company is having serious financial problems, said NDP ferry critic and North Coast MLA Gary Coons.

Around 35 managers lost their jobs Friday, he said, and the numbers are expected to climb to close to 100 this week.

“Obviously B.C. Ferries is having serious financial problems,” Coons said. “We're seeing the dismal failure of this privatization scheme.”

A call to B.C. Ferries' media line was not returned by publication time. Nor was transportation minister Kevin Falcon available. A ministry official said Falcon would not comment until B.C. Ferries makes a public statement on the layoffs.

In 2003 the B.C. Liberal government restructured the crown corporation into a private company. The government still owns the company and will spend $168 million on it this fiscal year. Since 2003 B.C. Ferries has accumulated $1.26 billion in long-term debt.

As a crown corporation BC Ferries used to have to report how many employees it had. Since 2003 it has not, but Coons said there are indications management has ballooned at the company. One source tells him the number of managers has doubled since 2003, he said, while a comparison of company phone books shows there are now 37 percent more managers than there were in 1993.

Job postings in the last few years have included positions for an Elevator/Escalator Systems Manager and a Menu and Recipe Development Manager, he said.

The company also recently said it plans to move its head office into a space that will be about 50 percent larger than what it now has at Fleet House in downtown Victoria.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hey Saudis, Wanna Buy a Fast Ferry?
PacifiCats get a look for Red Sea route. Brokers still flogging the vessels.

By Andrew MacLeod
Published: January 19, 2009

A few months ago, the Saudi Gazette ran a story which may prove to be of some interest to British Columbians wondering if the PacifiCat fast ferries might ever find a buyer.

The subject was a new ferry service planned for the Red Sea between Egypt, Sudan and Saudi Arabia. The routes would likely be well travelled, with many Egyptians and Sudanese making pilgrimages to Mecca and many Saudis visiting relatively liberal Egypt.

The route has been somewhat underserved since 2006, when an Egyptian-run ferry sank drowning over 1,030 people.

"A Saudi-owned and managed ferry transport company will be launched and operational in the first quarter of 2009 as soon as the board of directors is duly constituted," the article said. "A newly formed company IBHAR... co-owned by several prominent Saudi businessmen, will get off the ground with an initial five ferry boats plying across the Rea Sea from Jeddah to ports in Egypt and Sudan, each having a capacity of 1,200 passengers and five hundred tons of cargo including 500 cars."

Could three of those boats be the PacifiCats, built by Vancouver shipyards for B.C. Ferries in the 1990s at a cost of some $450 million, then auctioned back to Washington Marine Group for under $20 million?

The numbers aren't quite right -- the PacifiCats carry more like 1,000 passengers and 235 cars -- but were close enough to get people talking.

Purchase from Canadian company

The main source for the article was Capt. Mohammad Abood Babiadan, IBHAR's managing director. For readers of Arabic, his company's plan is available in a presentation he made to a meeting in Saudi Arabia last March. I'm told the plan includes expansion into serving the Persian Gulf, but does not say what ships the company will use.

According to the Saudi Gazette article, "Babiadan disclosed that a letter of understanding was signed earlier with a Canadian company for the purchase of four 5-year-old ferries after a technical group from Saudi Arabia has had an ocular inspection of the boats."

It noted that the ships were roll-on/roll-off ferries, where loading and unloading are possible at both ends of the vessels. The PacifiCats are also that type.

The article pointed out buying used ferries could save a three-year waiting period to have a new ship built. Assuming the PacifiCats, for example, will sell for closer to $20 million than to $450 million, it would also save the Saudi company a few dollars.

PacifiCats considered

Babiadan could not be reached at his Capt. Abood Centre for Marine Studies phone number, but he did respond to e-mails.

"We have been approached by a broker of these ferries in case we are interested to utilize for our service in the Red Sea," he confirmed. His company has considered the ships, he said, but has not made any commitment to buy them.

"We are not the one ready to conclude the deal at the present time, due to the fact that steps to complete establishing the company are not yet settled." IBHAR is also looking at other ships, he said.

He added that he's aware the brokers continue to shop the PacifiCats around. "We know also that maybe other buyers from different areas could be more desperate," he wrote. In a subsequent e-mail he said he did not know who other buyers might be.

Washington Marine Group vice-president Spiro Risvas confirmed there has been recent interest in buying the PacifiCats, but said there's nothing to announce yet. "There are people interested," he said.

The company has two brokers working on the sale, one based in Vancouver, one in England.

BC Ferries international spin-off

Efforts to sell the PacifiCats do not appear to be related to B.C. Ferry Services Inc.'s work in the United Arab Emirates. Victoria's Monday Magazine in the fall reported that Doug Allen, who acted as president and CEO of B.C. Ferries during the 2003 transition from Crown corporation to quasi-private publicly owned company, is the "point man for the deal to provide a ferry service for hundreds of privately owned islands being built offshore in the Persian Gulf."

A colleague in Allen's Victoria office said he left for Dubai on Jan. 8, but declined to say how long he would be there.

The Road and Transport Authority of Dubai closed a competition on Jan. 8 seeking "a high-calibre international marine transportation organization with a proven track record" to run a ferry service. The tender said a decision should be made by Feb. 8.

A call to the B.C. Ferries media line was not returned by publication time, but the company's most recent financial disclosure makes it clear the company is looking for opportunities abroad. "In September 2008, we established BCF Global Services Inc. (BCF Global) as a wholly owned subsidiary to provide consulting and management services both domestically and internationally," it said. "BCF Global will take advantage of our expertise and long history in the marine transportation business to pursue new business opportunities relating to the development, operation and maintenance of ferry systems."

No doubt B.C. Ferries officials could tell potential clients a thing or two about buying the boats Washington Marine Group has for sale.
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  #69  
Old Posted Jan 19, 2009, 11:47 PM
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Quite unfortunate we didn't find a use for the fast ferry fleet at home.

It would have been a nice addition for the navy, or we could've turned it into a floating casino and get back our money in no time. Even better, spend the money to make the improvements needed to keep it part of the ferry fleet.
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  #70  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2009, 12:08 AM
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Originally Posted by mr.x2 View Post
Quite unfortunate we didn't find a use for the fast ferry fleet at home.

It would have been a nice addition for the navy, or we could've turned it into a floating casino and get back our money in no time. Even better, spend the money to make the improvements needed to keep it part of the ferry fleet.
NAVY??? lmao!!! this would like double our fleet
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  #71  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2009, 12:20 AM
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NAVY??? lmao!!! this would like double our fleet
The Royal Canadian Navy did consider at buying the fleet....I'm guessing it would have acted as a transport vessel. And in all fairness, we have 33 ships and subs. :p
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  #72  
Old Posted Jan 26, 2009, 12:58 AM
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Car fire causes several ferry cancellations


TSAWWASSEN (NEWS1130) - Passengers trying to catch the ferry from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay have run into problems today after a car caught fire this afternoon on one of the decks of the Queen of Vancouver.

Deborah Marshall with BC Ferries says they were forced to get everyone off the vessel.

"We did evacuate all of the passengers from the vessel. The crew were all mustered to one area of the vessel ... that is the crew that weren't involved in the fire party. Now we have called those 18 drivers of the vehicles back onto the ship to get those vehicles off so that the tow truck can get access."

She says they were able to put out the fire with no damage to the ferry. The 2 pm sailing from Tsawwassen and the 4 pm from Swartz Bay have been cancelled.

http://www.news1130.com/news/local/m...5_182646_49880
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  #73  
Old Posted Jan 26, 2009, 5:49 PM
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That 4pm cancellation cause me quite a headache trying to get back from the Island. Glad to hear it was a car fire as opposed to a ferry fire though.
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  #74  
Old Posted Jan 26, 2009, 6:02 PM
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Originally Posted by mr.x2 View Post
The Royal Canadian Navy did consider at buying the fleet....I'm guessing it would have acted as a transport vessel. And in all fairness, we have 33 ships and subs. :p
they would look good in Navy trim i tell you what
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  #75  
Old Posted Mar 6, 2009, 2:47 AM
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New Ferry will make an appearance in Burrard Inlet at noon tomorrow:

Quote:
New BC ferries ship 'Northern Expedition' arrives in Vancouver on Friday
Takes over Part Hardy-Prince Rupert run in May
Jill Drews VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) |
Thursday, March 5th, 2009 3:42 pm


Northern Expedition passing through Willemstad, Curacao (Courtesy BC Ferries)

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) - Another new ship for BC Ferries is on the final leg of its trip to British Columbia, and will visit Vancouver tomorrow. The 'Northern Expedition' left a German port at the end of January and as of 3 p.m. Thursday was passing Oregon.

It will have travelled 9,900 nautical miles by the time it reaches Victoria around 7 Friday morning.

The ship will arrive in Burrard Inlet at around noon, sailing past Stanley Park and the Lions Gate Bridge before heading for Departure Bay. The Northern Expedition be on the Port Hardy-Prince Rupert run by mid-May.
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  #76  
Old Posted Mar 6, 2009, 8:29 PM
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New Ferry will make an appearance in Burrard Inlet at noon tomorrow:
Shit, I might have to go take a look quickly! Looks like a damn nice boat.
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  #77  
Old Posted Mar 7, 2009, 12:46 AM
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  #78  
Old Posted Mar 7, 2009, 12:56 AM
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The Royal Canadian Navy did consider at buying the fleet....I'm guessing it would have acted as a transport vessel. And in all fairness, we have 33 ships and subs. :p
Where did you get this info?

And yea, only thing I coudl see the vessels being used for is kit transportation, possibly in a multi-role use combining kit transport and amphibious assault.
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  #79  
Old Posted Mar 7, 2009, 7:19 AM
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Anyway to retrofit them into hospital ships perhaps?
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  #80  
Old Posted Mar 8, 2009, 8:07 PM
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BC Ferries' Spin Plan Exposed
Secret strategy to control public debate as company went private.
View full article and comments here http://thetyee.ca/News/2009/03/05/FerrySpin/
By Andrew MacLeod
Published: March 5, 2009
TheTyee.ca

The British Columbia government knew the public might not like its plans to restructure B.C. Ferries, but it had a plan that relied on working with "trusted reporters" and friends of the B.C. Liberals to sell the idea.

"Communications regarding the restructuring will be a significant challenge," observed the 33-page communications plan, every page of which is marked "confidential" in large letters.

Dated Nov. 12, 2002, the document is identified as the sixth draft for the plan, and says B.C. Ferries and the Transportation Ministry developed it together. "We expect this announcement will attract high profile and sustained media interest, fuelled by controversy generated by opponents," the plan said.

Three weeks later, during an open cabinet meeting, then Transportation Minister Judith Reid, would announce a major restructuring of B.C. Ferries, reinventing the 40-year-old crown corporation as a private company.

The government would still own the new company, B.C. Ferry Services Ltd., but the yet to be fulfilled long term plan involved contracting out the routes and running the company more like an airport authority. Keep in mind that airport authorities don't usually own and operate planes.

NDP ferry critic Gary Coons said Premier Gordon Campbell made the changes to the ferry system without debate in the legislature or public debate or scrutiny. "He gathers together his 'Kool-Aid' drinkers to push the privatization and sell off our marine highway," Coons wrote in an e-mail. "A small piece of secrecy is lifted with his ferry 'communications plan.'"

Public concern expected

An appendix to the strategy details the things the public might dislike about the change. There would be "public concern about steep increases in fares and cuts in service," it said.

"British Columbians are proud of and feel a sense of ownership in the ferry service," it added. And there would be "Public concerns about foreign ownership, especially by a U.S. company," a concern for which the spinners were yet to come up with a planned response.

And then there was the question of accountability: "Concerns that an independent BCFS will no longer be accountable to ferry users and the voting public at large." At least in the old days the public knew who to blame when something went wrong.

The planners did, however, have a list of arguments in favour of the restructuring. In the wake of the "fast ferries fiasco," there was a sense change was needed. "Status quo from both a financial and service level perspective is unsustainable. Something has to be done."

The public would like that the move gets debt off the government books, they figured, and they would use the credibility of David Emerson, then chair of the B.C. Ferries board, to sell the idea. Finding some other way to fund the ferries would be acceptable, they thought. "Given the choice, the public would prefer taxpayers' money be spent on health care & education and the ferry system obtains alternative sources of finance."

The planning was also happening with plenty of lead time, another advantage. "We have the time to reassure and build support (allay fears) before the announcement."

Proactive communications

The plan the strategists developed called for a "sustained commitment to proactive communications" and broke out tactics for six different audiences: the media, third-party supporters, detractors, external stakeholders, internal audiences and MLAs.

It included this goal: "Obtain editorial board support from The Vancouver Sun, The Times Colonist, The Province, Nanaimo Daily News and the Prince Rupert Daily News."

Emerson would be the primary spokesperson, it said, and they would "Use other Board members, in particular Mark Cullen, Tom Harris and Maureen Macarenko, to support David Emerson by serving as spokespeople in their areas." The premier, transportation minister, MLAs for coastal constituencies and B.C. Ferries executives would also be briefed and given "media training" on the issue.

The day of the announcement the plan would be to "Proactively contact target media immediately after the Open Cabinet meeting to set up interviews for David Emerson and other Board members." They would "Educate media opinion leaders and key reporters on the restructuring in an effort to gain supportive coverage."

The plan called for arranging interviews for reporters with non-government people who supported the restructuring: "Provide media with names of supportive third party spokespeople so they are sought out for comment."

In the days that followed, they would "Use editorial board and media interviews to sustain the media coverage and continue to frame the story over the 10 day period following the announcement."

Even before the announcement, the communicators would be preparing the public for what was coming. "Leading up to announcement, arrange for David Emerson and other Board members to 'publicly muse' through briefings with trusted reporters about the Wright Report findings and the challenges facing BC Ferries."

Emerson and B.C. Ferries board members were to "place calls to key media" in the two weeks ahead of the announcement.

Trusted reporters

On Dec. 7, 2002, Times Colonist columnist Les Leyne had a front page story about the restructuring.

The story was written several days ahead of the announcement, and yet Leyne had many of the government's key messages:

-"B.C. Ferries will sail away from direct provincial government control and be run by a new authority as part of plans to be announced Monday," he wrote. "Regular, modest B.C. ferry fare increases over the next several years will also be announced by Transportation Minister Judith Reid."

-"The new operating body will be modelled after successful airport authorities. It will run the fleet and terminals on a much more commercial basis, sources familiar with the plans have confirmed."

- "Modelled on the mall approach many airports have taken, particularly Vancouver, expect to see various commercial enterprises with a strong B.C. identity spring up to take advantage of the thousands of people held captive in ferry parking lots during the peak season."

-"The model for the new approach is the Vancouver Airport Authority. . . The same man who oversaw that change -- David Emerson, head of Canfor Ltd. -- has been chairman of the board at B.C. Ferries for the past 15 months."

-"Although there will be no sell-off of assets or privatization of routes, B.C. Ferries will also adopt a policy of being open to offers from any private companies who may express an interest in creating new services within the system."

-"The new authority is expected to get full power to set the fares, independent from government. Sources said that historically, politicians have modified every single tariff change proposed by the corporation."

-"Sources say the remodelling of the Crown corporation's relationship to government will follow some -- but not all -- of the recommendations last year by consultant Fred Wright, who reviewed the corporation and recommended major changes.

-"After looking at how ferry systems all over the world are operated, Wright concluded: 'The private sector can do it better.'"

-"Liberal caucus members briefed on the new approach say they are pleased about the plan. And some are also pleased that after months of controversial changes, Monday will mark the third week in a row the Liberal cabinet has opted for a milder, middle course."

'Radically revamped'

Others also reported the government's line. Also on Dec. 7, the Vancouver Sun's Craig McInnes had the story: "Ferry relaunch Monday: Remake of B.C. system follows Wright's review."

He wrote that Emerson was involved: "The B.C. Liberal government hopes that by following the Vancouver airport model, the ferry system can raise the money it needs for new ships and foreshore improvements and that people will be at least willing, if not happy, to pay more for a better experience."

Jason Proctor at The Province had a story on Dec. 8, still a day ahead of the government's announcement: "B.C. Ferries is set to launch a radically revamped service tomorrow, modelling the Crown corporation's future on the operations of the Vancouver International Airport Authority. Insiders say the changes will mean better service at higher prices."

Following the announcement, there were numerous stories, but the Nanaimo Daily News' boosterism stands out. The paper's Valerie Wilson wrote stories with the following headlines: "New course charted to keep ferries afloat"; "...Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce backs new B.C. Ferry Authority"; "...B.C. Ferries gets thumbs up from local MLA, Tourism Nanaimo"; "...Reid pumped about changes"; and "...commuter lauds changes to ferries."

And here's Vancouver Sun columnist Vaughn Palmer's warier conclusion: "The revised ferry corporation would be hard pressed to deliver a worse performance than its predecessor over the past decade. And perhaps a quasi-private corporation will be more capable at bettering service and generating revenues. But I doubt whether any but the most easily-amused travellers will ever look forward to spending more time in a BC Ferries terminal."

Ulterior motives

"Everybody uses everybody," Leyne said this week after hearing the government planned to work with "trusted reporters" on the announcement. "To learn they had a fairly sophisticated media campaign going doesn't cause me to fall over in a faint because we get used all the time."

He made the observation during a week when stories explored how the government tries to set the news agenda by keeping reporters busy and where press gallery reporters received gifts from the B.C. Pharmacy Association.

Leyne, who later wrote columns that were more sceptical about the B.C. Ferries restructuring, said he didn't recall talking with Emerson about the changes and wasn't sure who gave him the tip, but that it would be normal for someone to plant the seed of a story they wanted told.

"People don't just come up and give you something of their own volition for no good reason," he said. "There are usually ulterior motives involved."

More than six years after the restructuring, the changes continue to run their course. Recent Tyee reporting has shown fares are up, but earnings and the number of riders are down. The latest attempt to contract out routes failed. The company has taken on $1.2 billion in long-term debt and bought several new vessels that use much more fuel than the ships they replaced.



Targeted to Sell BC Ferries' Message

Specific politicians, business people, academics sought to endorse private move.

Besides working with trusted reporters, the strategists planned to get help from supporters selling the idea that taking BC Ferries private was a good thing. "Obtain strong, ongoing support in the media and other public venues from tourism groups, the trucking association, the BC & Yukon Hotel Association, BCAA and mayors of coastal communities, to ensure media coverage is balanced and more positive."

It even named names of people likely to be supportive, and in many cases identified who would contact them. Communications consultant Jim Hoggan was to do some of the contacting. So were board chair Emerson and board members Tom Harris and Peter Armstrong.

Sean Holman, who also received a copy of the communications plan, last week reported that one of those supporters was new B.C. Ferries board member Steve Smith.

Mohann Jawl, identified as a "Saanich developer," is on the list. The Tyee reported in December, by the way, that the ferry company has struck a real estate deal with a Jawl family business. The company will sell its headquarters to the Jawls, then lease part of a building the Jawls are now developing. BC Ferries also agreed to advance $25 million to the Jawls.

Others to be contacted to help B.C. Ferries included Victoria radio station owner Mel Cooper, grocery store owner Alex Campbell Sr., Paul Landry from the B.C. Trucking Association, Trace Acres from the B.C. Automobile Association and tourism promoters Don Monsour, Rod Harris, Dave Petryk and Lorne Whyte. Report writer Fred Wright, UBC transportation professor Bill Waters, SFU's Lindsay Meredith and UBC's Michael Goldberg were on the list.

Mayors were also expected to help out: Alan Lowe in Victoria, Frank Leonard in Saanich, Gary Korpan in Nanaimo, Bruce Milne in Sechelt, Ron Wood in West Vancouver, Lois Jackson in Delta and Don Scott in Prince Rupert.

–Andrew MacLeod
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