Friday April 18, 2014

question of the week

Survey results are meant for general information only, and are not based on recognised statistical methods.

Manufactured outrage? I think not



Whatever the intent behind Keith Maxwell’s gratuitous broadside (Coast Reporter letters, Jan. 3) against those who do not share his view of BC Ferries, his letter does serve as a fine example of how corporate logic has come to permeate all public dialogue today.

The clearest tells are that service is considered secondary to profitability, and Maxwell’s argument rests on select data that excludes both human costs and the economic consequences for our community.

The Sunshine Coast, Upper and Lower, is almost entirely dependent on the ferry system in every respect. Our children can no longer afford to visit us here. As business owners we are only too aware of how the cost of transport affects business viability. Tourist traffic, one of the few potential growth areas in our local economy, is decreasing.

In a few years’ time, we too will be retired — a little “less poor” than others, on fixed income in a world where the price of everything constantly rises. This is real, regardless of Maxwell’s attempt to attribute our discontent to “partisan politics.”

The ferry system was conceived and designed to serve the public body. It is a part of the provincial infrastructure, facilitating the movement of people, services and goods between communities, ultimately energizing those aspects of the economy, which produce real wealth. It was put into place by people who understood that the business of government is to implement policies that reflect the common good, not profitability.

Maxwell’s position might be defensible if the corporate model were successful. Rising costs, service deterioration and falling revenues tell us otherwise.

I would venture that in the same frame, BC Ferry Corporation has become bloated with systems managers, highly paid for having meetings, producing paper and undermining an essential component of our infrastructure while losing money. Outrage “manufactured?” No, sir.

George Stepanenko, Wilson Creek



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