2001 Maritime

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August 30, 2001

BC Government launches fast ferry probe
"The mismanagement of the fast ferry project cost taxpayers C$463 million, more than double the original budget," British Columbia's Minister of Transportation, Judith Reid said yesterday. Announcing the launch of a government inquiry into both the fast ferry project and BC Ferry Corporation, she said. "It's essential we learn from this fiasco to ensure nothing like it ever happens again. That means clearly identifying the management and reporting failures that occurred and determining what changes are needed to restore service levels to meet the needs of coastal communities.

A team of independent experts will manage the review, led by business and financial consultant Fred Wright. To speed up the review, the team's first task will be to analyze and assess reports prepared by the auditor general and consultant Hugh Gordon to identify recommendations that can be put in place immediately.

In addition, the review will:

  • Seek public input on alternative uses for the fast ferries and provide recommendations based on this.
  • Make recommendations to improve the corporation's overall planning, both short-term and long-term, with particular emphasis on instilling a corporate culture of greater creativity, entrepreneurial innovation and service delivery.
  • Make recommendations for ensuring the corporation's long-term planning is consistent with government commitments and priorities, including greater openness and accountability.
  • Review best practices in ferry transportation systems in other places and provide recommendations based on these.

A final report will be submitted to the Minister by the end of November, and will be made public. Terms of reference of the inquiry are online at http://www.th.gov.bc.ca/bchighways/nr_2001/90377.htm