Opinion

Ferry debates and drunken buffoons on video

The debate in our area last week over the BC Ferry corporation service cuts was interesting.

Once again ferry dependent communities called for treating ferries like a highway.

It’s an interesting debate, do people who are serviced only by highways in more remote areas of the province essentially get free transportation? Well, as free as any taxpayers get anything.  Here on the coast, our tax dollars build a ferry system and then we pay a user fee on top of that.

Even new bridges in the Lower Mainland eventually get their tolls removed. The new Port Mann Bridge will have its toll removed in about 40 years.

And the Coquihalla Highway in the Interior, the last time I drove on it I had forgotten the toll had been removed. As I approached the former toll booth location I was thinking “can I pay in cash, do I need a credit card..hey, where’s the booth?”

Are they going to remove the toll on the ferries? Of course not.

It seems to be a parallel argument. A capital cost to build the infrastructure – road, bridge, ferry, etc. – and then a toll to pay it off. Why is a ferry different from a bridge?

A ferry has costs associated with day-to-day operation of the vessel, including fuel and crew. A highway and a bridge has costs associated with maintenance – as does a ferry – but it doesn’t need someone to operate it.

That’s about the only difference I can see.

 

Somebody's watching you

 

In this day and age of cellphones, youtube videos and everyone being moments away from being filmed doing something, what are we getting?

Boston Bruins forward and Vancouver native Milan Lucic is recorded on video trying to avoid getting into an altercation with some drunken idiot outside a bar in Vancouver. The mayor of Toronto is taped smoking crack.

Did we need to see all this?

There was a time when all this would happen in secrecy and we’d never know about it. In some ways I don’t feel we’re better off and in other ways I do.

The two examples I mentioned above are a case in point. I’d just as soon not be reminded that there are idiots in bars who will harass a celebrity hockey player. So, I didn’t really need to see that.

I didn’t really want to see all that crap about Toronto mayor Rob Ford either but it’s important that it came out. Now we can debate whether he specifically, and that type of person generally is the type of person we want to lead our cities and legislatures.

Given the level of support that Ford retains in T.O., it’s obvious that it doesn’t bug a lot of people as much as it does me.

CBC’s Rick Mercer put it well in one of his brilliant rants when he said there is a faction in Toronto who don’t care what kind of drunken, drug-addled buffoon is in office, as long as he holds the line on spending, he’s all right.

Now, if there was something I didn’t need to see, it was that.

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