Did you know that BC is having three of its new "air ferries" built in Germany. When I heard this I tried to do a double take but ended up cracking my neck.
The BC Ferries Board of Directors gave its approval of a $325 million dollar contract with Hindenberg Airshipyards and each ferry will cost $108 million.
Currently, the average age of a BC Ferry is 32 years old and when translated into human years is just about equal to a person being able to collect their pension. These brand new Super-C (which stands for supercallafragilistic) ferries will be bigger and better. They'll first arrive in late 2006 and the last will be delivered in 2008.
What makes me especially angry is that they've replaced the Dogwood emblem (BC's national flower) which has been a symbol for the ferries for 25 years. Now they have some stupid wave symbol that at this time says nothing special. If only sea creatures could talk. Then they could tell everyone that 'it's just a stupid wave.'
Shipbuilders in BC have been building ferries since 1959. Don't you think they'd have the system down pat by now? Why the heck does the coorporation need to go looking for better deals in another country? Why not support local business? These questions could probably be easily answered if people were willing to tell the truth. But we know that people tend to be horrible liars at least some of the time.
Not only that, but BC ferries is now owned by a private American company. Can you say Manifest Destiny? The fearless leader of this company is David Hahn. Oh David, what are you doing to BC? The guy lives here but it's probably in one of those houses in Vancouver that costs so much it could feed the tsunami victims for the next thirty years.
This "Hahn man" wanted the gov to waive a 25% duty charged to foreign built ships because the new Super-Cs are being built in Germany. Look, if the BC shipbuilders are going to get screwed out of the job, Hahn shouldn't be getting any freebies from anyone, not even the gov who handed him his work visa.
Isn't it going to cost more to build and ship the ferries there than it would if they were just built here? I mean, once they've got the taste of the Atlantic don't you think they'd want to stay there? I personally have no idea what the Atlantic tastes like but I'm sure it's very nice with fish and chips. I'm not even going to mention the risk of shipping ferries halfway around the world.
It also looks like there are plans to build the new Bowen Island ferry in
Poland. Poland? What the heck? Apparently they do have a shipbuilding industry. I mean, they do partly border the Baltic Sea. I mean, before WWII Poland only had the small Danzig corridor to the sea but now, it's all coastal baby.
Here's my suggestion, while foreign companies are building boats for BC, maybe the shipbuilders should go bug the feds. We already know they won't listen but if the media gets involved you never know. Ever heard of the On to Ottawa trek? I know it's been attempted before with disastrous results but do you really think that the feds will stop the train in Regina a second time?
Another option would be chucking dead fish at Hahn's house in protest but I don't know where he lives. Maybe he would see the situation more clearly if he were welded to the front of a ferry. Anywhoo, let's just hope this isn't another Chicoutimi disaster. I can see it now; German-built ferries plug Panama Canal. Germans say oops.