Friday, October 02, 2009

BC Ferries gives away 355 Vancouver Canucks tickets for free to employees - critic calls it "totally inappropriate"

Free Canuck tix for B.C. Ferries staff

By BILL TIELEMAN, 24 hours

Is B.C. Ferries giving away 355 free tickets to Vancouver Canucks' games to its employees a "totally inappropriate" decision that will mean higher fares or a "pretty normal thing to do" that helps improve ferry traffic?

And were the tickets "free" to B.C. Ferries or worth at least $13,000 if valued at Canucks' cheap seats price of $37, or over $25,000 at an estimated average ticket price of $71?

Those very different responses came after 24 hours obtained B.C. Ferries' documents showing that 355 employees got free tickets to Canucks' September pre-season games.

B.C. Ferries' CEO David Hahn told 24 hours the tickets cost the government-owned corporation nothing - because the Canucks offered them free as part of a roughly $400,000 annual advertising buy that promotes B.C. Ferries travel with GM Place signage.

But New Democratic Party MLA Gary Coons rejects that explanation.

"It's totally inappropriate. Nothing is ever free, especially when you're buying $400,000 in advertising you don't need as a monopoly," Coons said in an interview. "All this will do is affect fares and services to communities."

Hahn disagrees, saying B.C. Ferries reaches thousands of potential customers, especially with televised games.

"I think this is a pretty normal thing to do - it's not abnormal - it's normal that companies do this stuff. It makes all the sense in the world," Hahn said. "We have a monopoly but we don't have a monopoly on where people want to go."

"We can't spend millions on Olympic or broad-based advertising," Hahn said. "It's working pretty well."

But Coons still criticizes B.C. Ferries employee Canucks' ticket giveaway, saying it's like the $1 million annual salary Hahn makes, along with four other senior executives making between $485,000 and $562,000 - a cost that ferry customers must pay for through higher fares.

This story was published in 24 hours Friday



Henri Paul said...

How else are the Canucks to draw fans to their games if not by supplying free tickets. One cannot have much going on in ones life, if they must resort to this form of useless entertainment.

Andrew said...

New Democratic Party MLA Gary Coons has obviously never worked for a corporation that deals in advertising...

It's common practice for businesses to receive free game tickets from their advertising partners. When I was working for a large retailer I went to countless hockey, baseball & basketball games yet I've never once paid for a ticket.

I doubt any of the Ferry Union will be voting NDP if all they want to do is take away their perks. I would suggest Gary stops pissing in other people's cornflakes and finds something worthwhile to concern himself with.

G West said...

These people are semiliterate thugs - what would you expect of them? They're going to fiddle till the Olympic Torch burns down to a stinking stub...

Kam Lee said...

HP.. What drug are you on? They are sold out every game!

Andrew...yes happens all the time, but its not really right. Someone is paying the bill.

Dave H and gordo, drunk with power.

Henri Paul said...

Kam Lee said...
HP.. What drug are you on?
Im not on drugs,that's the problem, if were, id be sitting there next to you at the games.

Anonymous said...

I'm very happy that BC Ferries has a great big sign on the side-board at GM Place. If not for that sign...I was totally lost as to how to get to the mainland with my car.

Crankypants said...


If BC Ferries was a privately owned business then this practice would be acceptable.
Unfortunately they are not and it is not.

This is just another example of taxpayers' dollars being pissed into the wind.

Henri Paul said...

Hahn said. "We have a monopoly but we don't have a monopoly on where people want to go."
Yes and no, but it wasn't always this way.
At one time we had CPR ferries, which carried passengers, cars , trucks , trains, the Gulf Islands were serviced by one or two corporations, the ferry Lady Rose now out of Port Alberni was one of them. There was Black Ball Ferries service from Horseshoe bay to Nanaimo.
A couple or three companies looking after central, norther coast as well as the west coast.
But our government of that day changed all this ,to what we have today a monopoly, The BC ferry Corp.
I won't bother to mention The BC Electric Company.

Kam Lee said...

Intersting response from a gordo fan. Are you one of the 230 members of the pab? Oh, I know you you, your the fan of that lady politican. You want to be like her when you grow up.

Kam Lee said...

"Im not on drugs,that's the problem". Very interesting answer. I'm sure your shrink would have lots to say about that response.

Henri Paul said...

Kam Lee said...
I'm sure your shrink would have lots to say about that response.
7:48 PM
I touched bases with my shrink, good response, he said .
On the PAB question, Im No.229 on the seniority list, I just barely made it into there.
Regarding "that lady politician", as Im a little slow on the uptake,sorry,I don't know who your referring to. Good night...

Kam Lee said...

T am glad your shrink agrees with me. If you are a little slow on the uptake, I'll speak slower. I am so glad you enjoy gordo, and don't like hockey.

DPL said...

Not much of the banter actually gets around to the fact that a ferry system owned by the public of BC is passing out free tickets to a sports event.And of course we collectively put up a fairly large amount of cash per month to subsidise a system that never seems to get around to lowering rates, or even bother to buy boats from BC yards. Coons is correct and no amount of BS or twisting of the truth will make many of us content to see BC dollars heading over to a hocky rink

Robert said...

Will everyone who works in a business that gives their employees or other emplyees with a business relationship please stand up.
You never took and upgrade for a hotel room or flight come on people

Anonymous said...

It's the old 'in-and-out' advertising trick again!!!

If BC Ferries really wanted to increase traffic, they would promote the icy beauty of Swindle Island in the winter.

Vesuvius Bay in the fall is gorgeous, too.

A "co-op advertising" deal with a variety of small businesses throughout the province - bed and breakfasts, restaurants, fishing lodges, wilderness tours - makes much more sense.

But this should be coordinated by Tourism BC, not BC Ferries itself.

The policy of dividing Crown Corporations into entities that refuse to work with each other is ludicrous and wasteful, and a reflection on the 'atmosphere' within a divided public service.

DPL said...

Another attempt is being made, according to the T/C today to get a passenger only ferry from Nanaimo to Vancouver, yet BC Ferries isn't interested. wonder why, if they are "committed " to improve ferry services. Oops almost forgot. The Campell crowd didn't like the fast ferries so sold them for a song, without attempting to re engine with turbines which would have made them a faster and cheaper running boat. Reduced weight by reducing the number of vehicles would have worked. The folks with money will keep on using float planes and the rest of the folks? well heck, they don't really count.

Henri Paul said...

After all the controversy revolving around the Olympic icon, which the Liberals are nagging about how closely resembling the Canadian Olympic "C" icon is to the Conservative "C' icon . Now you have chosen to display another icon which also closely resembles the Conservative "C" icon at the top of the page of this story. Bill, I would have thought by now, someone would have accused you of being a closet Conservative. Good one, I think its quite humorous.

Kam Lee said....11:42 PM, I am so glad you enjoy gordo, and don't like hockey.
Nowhere, have I stated I don't like hockey, because a person doesn't support a particular team, has no bearing on the game itself.
As for your Gordon remark,I haven't a clue as to what your alluding to.

Kam Lee said...

HP... You remind me of all of gordo's minions... deny, deny, and lie. Thats all.

Henri Paul said...

Kam Lee said...2:13 PM

HP... You remind me of all of gordo's minions... deny, deny, and lie. Thats all.
I did not have sex with that person.

Kam Lee said...

HP, you are weird, and very boring. I've crossed you off my xmas card list. Go away to your cave, and stay there.

Henri Paul said...

Kam Lee said.5:45 PM
Go away to your cave,
We can't keep meeting like this. Its either your place or my cave.

peter kelly said...

Hey Andrew: As a member of that ferry union you refer to, most of us aren't voting anything but the NDP. I can tell you this as fact.

The problem is that BC Ferries is a private company that inexplicably needs to advertise its services - even though its the only shop in town. That $400,000 icon under the score board could be better spent on safety training; keeping fares reasonable; or just not spent at all.

Kam Lee said...

HP any meeting between us would be short. Your face stopping my fist. Go away!

Bill Tieleman said...

Kam and HP - please move on to other issues - no need for ongoing personal attacks.