Much of the BC Ferries' profit is derived from their retail sales, from the snack bars, cafeterias, and gift shops. The best way to gain the attention of BC Ferries is to hit them where it will hurt the most — in their wallets.
I suggest we Coasters initiate what could well become an across-all-routes boycott of anything and everything for sale aboard the ferries — except for the tickets to ride. Buying food or anything for sale in the gift shops is, if one stops to think about it, a convenience, not a necessity.
My sense is that ferry users on all routes are as outraged and anxious about exorbitant rates as are we here on the Coast and would respond positively to such a boycott. Word would certainly spread by the inevitable media coverage. Boycott participants could wear buttons proclaiming something like "ride, but don’t buy.”
Our political representatives have been blind-sided, derogated, and made to look like hicks and fools while fighting the good fight for us in this battle against the bloated, arrogant, and profit-obsessed BC Ferries' honchos. While well-intentioned, it's not likely last Saturday's ferry protest struck fear in the hearts of the BC Ferries' management. But a boycott such as I’m suggesting strikes at their bottom line, which is the only thing they care about. A successful boycott might induce an attitude adjustment leading to real dialogue, institutional changes, and downward fare adjustments.
What have we BC ferry riders got to lose?
Jan Michael Sherman