Letters to the Editor

Blame game lacks integrity

Editor:

Re: Rough seas ahead for BC Ferries, July 3 column.

I think Tom Fletcher, legislative reporter and columnist for Black Press, has sunk to a new low in his July 3 column when he colludes with BC Ferries CEO Mike Corrigan in a desperate effort to defend the mismanagement at BC Ferries.

His column quotes Corrigan extensively, as the ferry corporation blames everyone but themselves for the net earnings loss of $16.5 million in their latest financial report.

The most incredulous part of the column was how Fletcher reported that the earnings loss was partially caused by teacher job action. He blamed teachers for student traffic being down one-third this year.

Apparently, if teachers had continued to go on field-trips through the course of the job action, then BC Ferries would have had recorded an earnings profit.

It is pretty clear Fletcher doesn’t like teachers, but to frame the message to make teachers responsible for financial mess at BC Ferries is journalistic drivel.

The net loss experienced by BC Ferries has everything to do with sky-high ferry rates and the overblown salaries for David Hahn and Corrigan’s management team.

Charge less and the consumers will start using the service again. That’s a concept used by millions of companies around the world. Unfortunately, it is not a strategy that is easily understood by BC Ferries, who prefer to pay management more for doing a lousy job.

Surely, Fletcher, president of the Legislative Press Gallery, cannot believe that if those pesky teachers had been fundraising instead of job action, BC Ferries would be in the black.

It would, however, be incredibly funny to hear announcements in schools calling on teachers to fundraise $16.5 million to keep BC Ferries afloat.

Do you know how many bottle-drives would have to be done in order to turn BC Ferries into a profitable operation? It would require every school in the province to take 10 trips a year to Vancouver Island to help BC Ferries break even.

What incredible arrogance for teachers to take job action in order to drive BC Ferries into the ground!

Fletcher, in his zealous pursuit of the truth, must acknowledge that blaming teachers for the financial mess at BC Ferries is truly stretching the boundaries of journalistic integrity. It would be easier for him to say I hate teachers and I am going to use any opportunity to blame them for something… anything.

Laurence Greeff, Surrey

 


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