EDITORIAL: B.C. Fed follies

Yes, everyone would like to see the new ferries built here, but at what cost to an already-burdened bottom line of BC Ferries

As soon as word BC Ferries had received approval to purchase three new vessels was out, the whining began.

Perhaps it could be more softly called spin from the B.C. Federation of Labour, but it was misguided spin to be certain.

It’s typical B.C. Fed deception, a tactic to steer people away from the real issues.

“On one hand, the provincial government lobbies the federal government to ensure ships are built in BC, but it refuses to do the same when it comes to BC Ferries,” George MacPherson, President of the BC Shipyard General Workers Federation, said in a B.C. Fed news release sent to the media Tuesday afternoon.

“Almost fifty years ago we built the original vessels, surely some 50 years later, we can build the replacements as well,” said B.C. Federation of Labour President Jim Sinclair. “British Columbians pay every day for the operations of BC Ferries; so it should be British Columbians who first benefit from any shipbuilding contracts.”

That’s all well and good gentlemen, if you are willing to ignore the structure of the governance of BC Ferries and the realities of the competitive bid process.

First, as Transportation Minister Todd Stone said: “Government does not have the purview to dictate to BC Ferries who can and cannot participate in their procurement process. That’s internal to BC Ferries.” He also added: “Certainly we’d be very supportive of the ships being built in British Columbia.”

Who wouldn’t be in favour of the jobs created for British Columbians if the ships were built here? That’s the motherhood-issue tactic, a favourite of the B.C. Fed.

So, why can’t B.C. shipbuilders put in winning bids? Why do they need a competitive crutch?

It’s a world economy, so compete.

The last thing BC Ferries needs on its financial statement is millions of dollars in extra costs because it is forced to buy B.C.-built vessels.

Does the B.C. Fed believe the people of B.C. subscribe to the false-economy ideals they espouse? Does it not have confidence B.C. companies and workers can compete in the global economy?

If it does, perhaps it should revisit the results of the polls on May 14.

— Editorial by John Harding

Just Posted

Celebration of life announced for Parksville man who died following reported hit and run

Investigation still underway following death of Spencer Alexander Moore

Mushroom festival returns to Coombs

Displays, talks, mushroom identification and more

ELECTION 2019: NDP’s Gord Johns re-elected in Courtenay-Alberni

Conservative Byron Horner finishes second, with Green Party’s Sean Wood third

Trudeau has won the most seats — but not a majority. What happens next?

Trudeau will have to deal with some of the implications of Monday’s result

Raptors Bling: NBA champions receive their rings in pre-game ceremony

There are over 650 diamonds — at a weight of 14 carats — in the 14-karat yellow gold ring

100-pound pumpkin stolen a second time from B.C. business

According to security footage, a man and woman took the pumpkin on Oct. 20 at 8:20 p.m.

Greta Thunberg declines invitation to Victoria due to time, not ferry emissions

Thunberg confirmed that she will be joining a climate strike at the Vancouver Art Gallery on Friday

‘Havoc and chaos:’ Alberta separatist group gains support as Liberals re-elected

The idea is getting interest from people in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and parts of British Columbia

Feds finally decriminalizing drugs possible – but it’s up to Jagmeet Singh, expert says

National pharmacare was one of Singh’s most highly-touted platform policies

In the news: Wexit, Brexit and Trump sparks outrage

There’s been a surge of support for an Alberta separatist group

Horvat’s hat trick lifts Canucks to 5-2 win over Red Wings

First career three-goal game for Vancouver captain

Runners brave wet, windy weather for Ucluelet’s 20th Edge to Edge

“The spirit of the runners I have nothing but compliments.”

Most Read