BC Ferries cuts disappoint

Transportation minister Todd Stone delivered a huge blow to the Bella Coola Valley, and in fact the entire Cariboo Chilcotin this week.

Transportation minister Todd Stone delivered a huge blow to the Bella Coola Valley, and in fact the entire Cariboo Chilcotin this week with the announcement that BC Ferries is cancelling its Discovery Coast Passage sailing.

The Discovery Coast Passage has been a critical piece of tourism for the Valley marketed as the “Circle Route,” which would see travellers come from all reaches to drive scenic Highway 20 through the Chilcotin and into the beautiful valley where they then caught the ferry to Port Hardy on Vancouver Island.

The cut is just one of many in the ministry’s bid to save about $19 million for the beleaguered BC Ferries.

While the government is cancelling the Bella Coola to Port Hardy route completely, BC Ferries is also trying to save money on the backs of seniors by instituting a 50 per cent fare on all routes where previously seniors could ride for free between Monday and Thursday.

It is also reducing several sailings and considering a pilot project to consider adding lucrative gaming machines on some of the major routes between Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland.

The massive cuts to all these BC Ferries routes, to take effect in April, would likely be a little bit easier to swallow if the BC Ferries board had done the right thing and cut the exorbitant wages and bonuses given to senior management.

As it is, the board instituted a two-year wage freeze and rolled the bonuses into the regular salaries paid to executives.

A small portion will be held back, to be earned if performance targets are met.

Had the BC Ferries board really grasped the nettle and made some substantial cuts to the wages of its top managers, a significant amount of money would be saved (it would amount to millions) without a single sailing being cut.

The real challenge that the provincial government faces is rooting out the members of the boards who run its Crown corporations, and in the case of BC Ferries, a private corporation owned 100 per cent by the province.

It needs board members ready to challenge the CEOs and top managers they are supposed to be keeping watch on.

It needs board members who do not blindly accept the status quo, and will look out for taxpayers and consumers.

Then the public will be much better served.

– with files from the Langley Times

Just Posted

Williams Lake principal honoured with Governor General’s Medal

Shirley Giroux graduated from UNBC with her PhD in Health Sciences

VIDEO/PHOTOS: Teofista Boxing 34 a crowd pleaser in lakecity Saturday

It was another event for the history books for the Williams Lake Boxing Club

FOREST INK: History of 1950 Chinchaga firestorm

In my opinion this 227-page book published in 2015 is a must

EDITORIAL: Happy Father’s Day

Dads come in all shapes and sizes, with varying talents, skills and energy

Barrel racers prepare for Williams Lake Stampede

The Stampede grounds were bustling this weekend with rodeo contestants from across B.C.

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

Revamped B.C. Lions set to battle veteran Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The Lions’ first test of the season will be a big one

Most Read