Thursday, January 14, 2016

BC NDP question BC Ferry "fire sale"

The Queen of Prince Rupert sailing
the seas of the South Pacific as part
of the Grounder Shipping fleet
The disclosure this week of the sale a former BC Ferry vessel to a Fijian company led by a former BC Ferries employee, has the NDP Opposition asking a few questions about how closely the Liberal Government is paying attention to the management of the province's ferry system.

In a media release from Tuesday, Gary Holman, the NDP deputy spokesperson on BC Ferries offered up some of the NDP's concerns over the sale, noting that the Ferry Corporation had spent fifteen million dollars on a refit for the Queen of Chilliwack, only to turn around and sell the vessel off to the Fijian company.

The purchase price for the vessel has been reported by Fijian news sources as 2 million dollars, which would make for a 13 million dollar loss from the refit price.

“BC Ferries spent $15 million refitting the Queen of Chilliwack, then almost immediately turned around to sell it at more than a $13 million loss,” ... “It’s no surprise that Christy Clark’s government and BC Ferries are hiding the sale price of the Queen of Chilliwack to a company in Fiji. They sold this ferry for a fraction of the cost of what they paid to refit it.” --- BC NDP MLA Gary Holman outlining the NDP's concerns over the recent sale of the Queen of Chilliwack to a Fijian company

Adding to the background of the story, is revelation that the vessel was pulled from service along the Discovery route shortly after the refit was completed and negotiations were underway.

Something that is no doubt of some interest to those that use BC Ferries on the Sunshine coast, who have seen a number of sailings on their route cancelled in recent weeks when the current vessel serving their route suffered mechanical issues.

A situation has that has left them without service at times, as no replacement vessel has been available in the BC Ferries fleet to be put into service to cover for the missing vessel.

Adding to some of the discussion on the sale is the disclosure that the company that has purchased the Queen of Chilliwack, now known as the Lomaiviti Princess 3 is run by a former BC Ferries official, who has taken his knowledge on ferry transportation to the South pacific and set up his own transportation company.

Not related to the current issue, but of some note for North Coast residents is this reminder that the former Queen of Prince Rupert is spending her golden years sailing those South Pacific seas as the M. V. Lomaiviti Princess, currently part of the roster of vessels for the Fijian service run by Goundar shipping.

You can walk down memory lane from this item from the Goundarshipping website.

Further background on the percolating controversy over the sale can be found below.

Queen of Chilliwack sold to Fijian company for less than $2M: report
Public deserves answers on BC Ferries' sale of Queen of Chilliwack
MLA criticizes ferry sale

More items related to BC Ferries can be found on our archive page here.

No comments:

Post a Comment