A leak from the Department of National Defence suggests that the Canadian Navy, desperate for a roll-on/roll-off capability, will purchase the entire BC Ferry fleet as a strategic resource. A navy spokesperson declined to comment except to say:
BC Ferries and the navy have always worked hand-in-hand. There's nothing unusual about this. In time of war, we own them anyway. A pre-war purchase would simply make things easier.When asked which war he was talking about, navy spokesperson, Leading Seaman A. W. Gotobed could only add:
Wars come and go. We never know when they're going to happen. But we need to be able to respond and right now, with the Harper government making sure we get everything we need for the war, taking over BC Ferries makes perfect sense.Asked about the seaworthiness of the coastal ferry fleet in open ocean conditions Gotobed was absolutely confident:
How do you think they got here?Questioned about ferry fares, Gotobed could only say:
The navy is a not-for-profit government operation, much the way BC Ferries used to be before it was being run by a food company. I suspect fares would be reduced for most users. That is all hypothetical of course.
Jack Knox, the Time-Colonist editor responsible for monitoring BC Ferries and the continuing investigation into the disappearance of Sunshine Breakfasts was caught totally unawares. As far as he knows, BC Ferries remains a private-corporation-in-name-only, which Gordon Campbell is using to play the Margaret Thatcher home version of Get Drunk and Sell It All.
... considering the provincial government's continued insistence on divorcing ferry corporation finances from their impact on the broader economy. This worries ferry-dependent communities, particularly those at the end of the minor runs, where the fear is that in trying to recover enough money to make the routes pay for themselves, B.C. Ferries will price itself -- and the communities -- out of business. How, we want to know, can the same government that throws billions at SkyTrain construction on the Lower Mainland refuse to pay B.C. Ferries capital costs in the same way?You decide which part is the joke.