Thank you BC Ferries

Written by Harold McNeill on November 15th, 2014. Posted in Tim Hortons Morning Posts


BC-Ferries

The following letter was first published on Facebook following a rant by an Island resident, Sean Smith of Nanaimo.
After making the post it seems many FB friends also think highly of the service.

November 15, 2014
Victoria, B.C.

Dear Sean Smith,

Re: Your Rant about BC Ferries (Link Here)

I went through your rant point by point and while some of what is said seems superficially reasonable, if one delves in deeper, I think you’re wrong on almost every point. Having ridden various coastal ferries thousands of times over the past fifty years, I find the service to be exceptional and would stack it above every other ferry service in the world (e.g. England, NZ, Mediterrean, USA, etc.). Many of the others provide good service, they just don’t match BC Ferries.

Compared to others, BC Ferry fares are pretty low (vastly lower in a number of cases) and the service and safety record leaves little to complain about. Part of the reason our fares are kept down is “tourism”. Also, tourism is one of the big drivers of the Islands economy. Lose even 10 – 20% of that income and ferry fares would need to go up and the Island economy would also take a huge hit. What is it that helps to drive tourism – advertising, good service, reasonable routes, times, cleanliness, ease of boarding, gift shop, with pretty good food in the cafeteria and excellent food in the dining room.

From my perspective, being able to have a wonderful, relaxing meal with family or friends while sitting by a window looking out across those pristine West Coast waters is worth the price of admission. Go anywhere and try to book a restaurant with that view and see what it will cost you! And, don’t forget those amazing shops at the larger terminals like Tsawwassen. All summer long they are filled with tourists and locals, and for anyone caught in a weather or heavy traffic delay, those shops provide wonderful relief from sitting in your car in an open parking lot.

I tell many visitors to BC – just take a round-trip route (whatever direction you choose) and it will be worth every penny. Take your car if you wish and you can do a circle route (Tsawwasssen, Nanaimo, drive to Victoria and return Schwartz Bay – Tsawwassen; or try Schwartz May, Tsawwaassen, Horseshoe Bay, Namaimo and back to Victoria) A great day trip with fine food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Visitors to this area rave about it and if they are lucky might even get to watch a pod of killer whales.

For locals, if you don’t want to pay the cost of a meal, just pack a lunch, settle back and do some computer work or grab a coffee and chat with someone. Granted, the WIFI needs serious attention, but I think that will come with time (and complaints). And on another point of improvement, I think a review of senior staff salaries and bonuses would be in order.

So, Sean and others who complain about BC Ferries, just suck up kids and get on with life. There are plenty of things that need to be improved in BC, but BC Ferries is likely a long way down the list. While efficiencies can always be made, be thankful that you have the best of the best in an exceptional part of the world.

Cheers,

Harold

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  • Harold McNeill

    August 21, 2019 |

    For those who followed the earlier post about the cost of ICBC Auto insurance coverage in British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Manitoba (linked in comments) here is another follow-up article.

    This article again confirms earlier assertions that public-private insurers such as that which ICBC provides, is among the best in Canada in terms of rates and coverage. A link is provided in the original story.

  • Harold McNeill

    August 16, 2019 |

    Many thanks for reviewing the article Elizabeth. There are so many areas of our society in which populism carries the day, although I think what is happening with the ICBC is that groups having a vested interest in private insurance would dearly love to dislodge ICBC from their preferred position. That being said, I think was a good move to have only portions of the insurance coverage in BC being held by ICBC and other portions being made available through private enterprise.

  • Elizabeth Mary McInnes, CAIB

    August 15, 2019 |

    It’s a breath of fresh air to see a resident of British Columbia look to review all the facts over believing what is reported in the news or just following along with the negative stigma of the masses. Your article truly showcases that with a little reform to ICBC’s provincial system – British Columbia could be a true leader for other provinces in Canada. Very well written article!

  • Harold McNeill

    August 13, 2019 |

    August 13, 2019. The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), a private enterprise group not unlike the Fraser Institute, is again on the campaign trail. They state ICBC rates are the highest in Canada, but, thankfully, Global BC inserted a section indicating the Insurance Bureau cherry-picked the highest number in BC and the lowest numbers in AB, ON and other Eastern Provinces. If you take a few minutes to check reliable sources you will find BC rates, are the lowest in Canada.

  • Andrew Dunn

    May 14, 2019 |

    Thank you so much for all your help thus far Harold, aka. Tractor guy! I could not have done without you!

  • Harold McNeill

    April 25, 2019 |

    I find it interesting to contemplate how a small community evolves in general isolation from the rest of the world. We have a similar situation in the northern communities in Canada to which access is limited. The inclusion of the world wide web and mass media has changed things, but these communities are still left pretty much to their own devices when it comes to personal interaction.

  • Harold McNeill

    March 19, 2019 |

    Hi Dave. Not that I am aware and I have a fairly comprehensive family tree for the McNeill side of the family. I will pull it up and scan. Cheers, Harold. Great chatting with you and I will give Ben a nudge.

  • Dave Cassels

    March 16, 2019 |

    Were you related to Guy McNeill who owned the Bruin Inn in St. Albert in the late 40’s or early 50’s? Guy was a close friend of my father-in-law who was the first President of the Royal Glenora Club. My phone number is 780 940 1175. Thank you.

  • Harold McNeill

    March 15, 2019 |

    So glad you found the story and enjoyed. Indeed, they were memorable times. I did a fair amount of searching but never managed to contact any of the Murffit kids. However, it was neat to make contact with the Colony and someone I knew from back in the day. I have enjoyed writing these stories from back in the 1940s and 50s and have made contact with a lot of friends from those early years. I will give you a call over the weekend. Cheers, Harold