Hahn worries about embarrassing ferry critic!

Last month, British Columbia Ferry Services Inc. chief executive officer David Hahn sent New Democrat critic Gary Coons a temperamental email. This, after the North Coast legislator called the recent refit of the North Adventure a "major embarrassment" for the company. In an interview with Public Eye, ferry services public affairs executive director Mark Stefanson said it was "unprecedented" for Mr. Hahn to personally react to such new releases. But it seems there is at least one precedent.

In November 2005, Mr. Coons accused the company of "raising fares through the back door by ending low-season deals." Following that accusation, the critic received the following message from Mr. Hahn: "I would like to reiterate the suggestion I made to you at BC Ferries' Annual General Meeting in September regarding information on various issues relating to BC Ferries. Either myself, or an appropriate staff member would be more than happy to respond to questions you may have."

Continued Mr. Hahn, "I suggest that, in providing BC Ferries with an opportunity respond before submitting the same inquiries to Mr. Martin Crilly, the BC Ferry Commissioner or public media, you would have all the facts which would provide you with a more balanced view of the issue...Personally, I would rather avoid unnecessary confrontations. I feel that having all the information will help you decide the correct path to choose and avoid any embarrassment to your position or office." Touching, really. The following is a complete copy of that letter.

***

November 21, 2005

Mr. Gary Coons
MLA, North Coast
Room 201
Parliament Buildings
Victoria, BC
V8V 1X4

Dear Gary:

I hope this letter finds you well.

I would like to reiterate the suggestion I made to you at BC Ferries' Annual General Meeting in September regarding information on various issues relating to BC Ferries. Either myself, or an appropriate staff member would be more than happy to respond to questions you may have. I suggest that, in providing BC Ferries with an opportunity respond before submitting the same inquiries to Mr. Martin Crilly, the BC Ferry Commissioner or public media, you would have all the facts which would provide you with a more balanced view of the issue.

Certainly you may choose to continue to go directly to Mr. Crilly or the public, via the media; however experience has shown that if you check with BC Ferries before hand, we can generally provide you with all the related facts and, in many cases, eliminate the concern.

Personally, I would rather avoid unnecessary confrontations. I feel that having all the information will help you decide the correct path to choose and avoid any embarrassment to your position or office.

Please don't hestitate to call if you have any questions or you would like to discuss further.

Sincerely,

David L. Hahn
President & CEO

14 Comments

Dear Mr Hahn

I hope this posting finds you well.

Here is my suggestion for naming the three new Super C Class boats being built in Flensburg. In order of entry into service, they should be named Otto Von Bismarck, Premier Campbell, and President Hahn so that Canadians who travel on these vessels will be forever reminded of where their money went and who sent it there.

Yours truly,
Budd Campbell.

David P, is that you? ... er... sorry Budd.

It's clear why the NDP can't get any attention in the media. They're too busy trolling blogs. Fortunately for Libs, they aren't conerned with reaching the other 99.9% of voters.

My friends who work at BC Ferries claim that the new ferry is a 'lemon' and will be refit 'black hole'. Designed for the Med. and not the North Coast, the ship is a holly roller, she maybe soon be refitted again with anti-roll devices.

Ha! David Perry has nothing better to do that troll blogs. No really...he has nothing to do.

The political nonsense of the past in BC Ferries is over. Good ridance and good for a Ferries CEO to finally have the stones to address ridiculous claims by MLAs with nothing better to do.

David, now go get Carole some tea.

Your right Budd. We should have ordered up another round of Fast Ferries. As long as we line the pockets of your brothers and sisters in the shipbuilders Union building boats that don’t work and ripping of taxpayers in the process people like you are happy.

Whatever makes you happy Budd.

Your right Budd. We should have ordered up another round of Fast Ferries. As long as we line the pockets of your brothers and sisters in the shipbuilders Union building boats that don’t work and ripping of taxpayers in the process people like you are happy.

As usual, Kevin Larsen has exactly one (1) concern. Making certain that provincial government policy is designed to reduce the amount of money that's spent on wages for unionized employees in B.C. I wonder, are the workers in Flensburg unionized or not? Likely they are since it's Germany we're talking about and most of their industrial workforce is organized, and the metal workers union is one of the largest of all. So maybe Kevin will have to feel a little uncomfortable when he travels on the new Otto Von Bismarck or Premier Campbell.

Perhaps given his extensive inside knowledge of BC Liberal politics Kevin can answer this question. When they made the decision to go overseas for these vessels, were the Liberals primarily determined to deny work and wages to the unionized workers represented by George MacPherson, ... or were they even more determined to deny projects and profits to Kyle Washington? The reason I ask is that the Wasghinton Marine Group never shows up in lists of big contributors to the BC Liberal slush fund.

Over to you, Kevin!

.
God I hate it when good people start chopping each other up over an issue like B.C. Ferries.

Once beloved by most coastal residents, B.C. Ferries INC now gives us stomach ulcers over the way money is tossed overboard instead of (oh the horror!) going into the pockets of B.C. workers.

While we're ranting on ferries, I was on a Washington State ferry last weekend, old rust buckets with nothing but hotdogs and chips to eat, and that was a 3 hour ride. Whose freakin ego are we trying to stroke with these expensive shiny cruise ships for a 1 1/2 hour ride? Tossing money overboard, tossing millions upon millions overboard, indeed.

What folks that tow the liberal coalition line like the cheerleader for Campbell above (and dare I say Media monitors of the Basi ilk) forget is the German economy thrives on a tripartate of Government, Business AND LABOUR. Something the Neo Socred Liberals in Victoria would NEVER EVER consider. Trouble is the DUI leader sets the political standard at rock bottom.

Here is my suggestion for naming the three new Super C Class boats being built in Flensburg. In order of entry into service, they should be named Otto Von Bismarck, Premier Campbell, and President Hahn so that Canadians who travel on these vessels will be forever reminded of where their money went and who sent it there.

Yours truly,
Budd Campbell.

Yeh sure Budd. Now how about sending another letter to Glen Clark requesting why he decided upon aluminium rather than steel ferries?

Or, why the NDP never did develop the ferry program so that ferries could be continously built here on the Coast?

I do agree with Burgess. Those yards are heavily subsidised. They do produce ships and bid low as they know the company does something this stupid government won't do. Encourage local work which keeps the money circulating in this province. By the way, is the "Sonia" still in its latest refit? And is Mr. Hahn still trying to get the fed not to change import taxes on it and the others heading this way. We still own the BC Ferries and the sooner we get rid of that guy Hahn, the better.

Budd,

The point you are missing is that the German ferries actually come with a 100% money back guarantee that they will actually work. Something your buddy George MacPherson would never offer for BC taxpayers. I realize in your NDP world nobody cares if something actually works or not, as long as the brothers and sisters get rich in the process.

Oh yeah, and you mentioned Kyle Washington and the Washington Marine Group so I bet you know the family also owns SeaSpan. Gee Budd, do you know where SeaSpan builds all of their own big new ships? Not in BC Budd. Wonder why ?

The point you are missing is that the German ferries actually come with a 100% money back guarantee that they will actually work.

Kevin, I really have to thank you for this bit of straight man humour. It's the funniest thing I have heard since the last time someone tried to tell me that P3s will actually transfer all risk to the private sector!

Really? So it starts to look like the Liberals have thrown away huge chunks of cash with minimal benefit to taxpayers, and your response is to blame the NDP for previous mistakes?

Right. So if I do something stupid, it's justified by another person's earlier and possibly even stupider mistakes? I'm not standing up to defend Glen Clark's grandstanding - he made his bed and sh*t in it himself. I think the basic policy of building ferries in BC might have been defensible, but Glen went overboard (so to speak) in proceeding at all costs.

Be that as it may, the only result I've seen of privately-managed ferries are higher and higher fares. Roads are built with public funds for the benefit of citizens and businesses. Bridges are the same. Why shouldn't ferries, a vital part of our transport linkages in a province with major islands, be public as well? I don't see any good that's come out of the corporate restructuring of BC Ferries. Show me evidence to prove me wrong and I'll rethink my position. But yelling that Clark wasted a lot of money (he did) does not show that BC Ferries is being run well under the Liberals.

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