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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Comments

  • Harold McNeill

    February 28, 2022 |

    Hi Robert, I do remember some of those folks from my early years in Cold Lake (Hazel was my aunt and our family spent many fond times with Uncle Melvin, Aunt Hazel and Family. I knew Lawrence and Adrian. Having read a half dozen accounts it is clear their were many false narratives and, perhaps, a few truths along the way. I tried my best to provide an even account from what I read. Cheers, Harold. (email: Harold@mcneillifestories.com)

  • Robert Martineau

    February 25, 2022 |

    Its been a long time since any post here, but its worth a shot. My Grandfather was Hazel Wheelers brother Lawrence, and son to Maggie and Adrien. Maggie Martineau (nee Delaney) is my great grandmother. The books and articles to date are based on the white mans viewpoint and the real story as passed down by the Elders in my family is much more nefarious. Some of the white men were providing food for the Indians in exchange for sexual favors performed by the Squaws. Maggie was the product of one of those encounters. Although I am extremely proud of my family and family name, I am ashamed about this part of it.

  • Julue

    January 28, 2022 |

    Good morning Harold!
    Gosh darn it, you are such a good writer. I hope you have been writing a book about your life. It could be turned into a movie.
    Thanks for this edition to your blog.
    I pray that Canadians will keep their cool this weekend and next week in Ottawa. How do you see our PM handling it? He has to do something and quick!
    Xo Julie

  • Herb Craig

    December 14, 2021 |

    As always awesome job Harold. It seems whatever you do in life the end result is always the same professional, accurate, inclusive and entertaining. You have always been a class act and a great fellow policeman to work with. We had some awesome times together my friend. I will always hold you close as a true friend. Keep up the good work. Hope to see you this summer.
    Warm regards
    Herb Craig

  • Harold McNeill

    November 26, 2021 |

    Hi Dorthy, So glad you found those stories and, yes, they hold many fond memories. Thanks to social media and the blog, I’ve been able to get in touch with many friends from back in the day. Cheers, Harold

  • Harold McNeill

    November 26, 2021 |

    Well, well. Pleased to see your name pop up. I’m in regular contact via FB with many ‘kids’ from back in our HS days (Guy, Dawna, Shirley and others). Also, a lot of Cold Lake friends through FB. Cheers, Harold

  • Harold McNeill

    November 26, 2021 |

    Oh, that is many years back and glad you found the story. I don’t have any recall of others in my class other than the Murphy sisters on whose farm my Dad and Mom worked.

  • Harold McNeill

    November 26, 2021 |

    Pleased to hear from you Howie and trust all is going well. As with you, I have a couple of sad stories of times in my police career when I crossed paths with Ross Barrington Elworthy. Just haven’t had the time to write those stories.

  • Howie Siegel

    November 25, 2021 |

    My only fight at Pagliacci’s was a late Sunday night in 1980 (?) He ripped the towel machine off the bathroom wall which brought me running. He came after me, I grabbed a chair and cracked him on the head which split his skull and dropped him. I worried about the police finding him on the floor. I had just arrived from Lasqueti Island and wasn’t convinced the police were my friends. I dragged him out to Broad and Fort and left him on the sidewalk, called the cops. They picked him up and he never saw freedom again (as far as I know). I found out it was Ross Elworthy.

  • Herbert Plain

    November 24, 2021 |

    Just read you article on Pibroch excellent. My Dad was Searle Grain company agent we move there in 1942/3 live in town by the hall for 5 years than moved one mile east to the farm on the corner where the Pibroch road meets Hwy 44. Brother Don still lives there. I went to school with you and Louise.