In B.C., More Green for 'Green' Ferries

Tom Finnerty25 May, 2024 2 Min Read
Another boondoggle sets sail.

Well this is an outrage:

According to the Western Standard, British Columbia Ferry Services Inc. is getting a $75 million dollar loan from Ottawa -- specifically the Canada Infrastructure Bank, a crown corporation tasked with financing infrastructure projects that are "in the public interest" -- in order to replace hybrid diesel-electric ferries it purchased for $260 million just four years ago. The last of those ferries wasn't even launched until 2023, but they have now been "rendered obsolete." About that $75 million:

The amount doesn’t cover the full cost of the ferries themselves, but rather, the higher up front costs compared to conventional diesel boats. Full costs haven’t been disclosed for the tender contract that was awarded to a Dutch company in January of this year. No Canadian shipyard applied for the bid.

It is worth noting that old school environmentalists were all about conservation, about getting more use out of things, eliminating waste. This is the opposite of that -- a waste of money and material all around. Naturally, the Libs are happy about this:

“Greener transit is a vital part of our work to tackle climate change and the work that CIB is doing to support it will go a long way in helping us reach our goals of net zero emissions by 2050,” said Housing Minister Sean Fraser. “More zero-emission ferries will have great benefits for the environment and communities nearby, including quieter vessels and lower carbon emissions. This is another step toward Canada meeting its commitment to net-zero emissions by 2050,” added Transportation Minister Pablo Rodriguez.

But the funds for this have to come from somewhere, and ultimately it will come from the pockets of the good people of B.C., and Canada more generally. It's pushing policies like this which has led to collapsing support for B.C.'s Liberal Party (known, bizarrely, as B.C. United) as well as the provincial NDP:

The Conservatives are surging -- a fact which is almost unheard of on Canada's left coast. (For U.S. readers, British Columbia has a similar political make-up to America's Pacific Northwest.) If the election, currently scheduled for October, were held today, the Tories look like they'd end up as the principal opposition party to the far-left NDP. And, as they say, that's not nothin'. A strong opposition can have a major impact on policy, even outside of power.

That said, a few more ideologically driven moves like this, and maybe enough voters will be driven to the Conservatives that they will end up as captains of this ship. Stranger things have happened.

Tom Finnerty writes from New England and Ontario.


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