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NEWS RELEASE September 18, 2002

No savings for BC Ferry Services: New German-built ferries will cost more per ship than much larger, built-in-BC Spirit class ferries, says Shipyard Workers Federation; Spirit Class ferries cost $147.5 million each, smaller German ferries will cost British Columbians $180.66 million each

Shipyard Federation says David Hahn claim of $160 million “savings” completely fictional

VANCOUVER – BC Ferry Services will not be saving a dime on its new German-built Super C Class ferries, says the BC Shipyard General Workers' Federation.

That's because the cost per German ship is $180.66 million each, while the much larger BC-built Spirit class ferries cost $147.5 million each, says Shipyard Workers' Federation president George MacPherson.

MacPherson says that even in the unlikely event that BC Ferry Services convinces the federal government to drop a duty of $81 million on the foreign-built ships, the cost per German ferry will still be $153.66 million. BC Ferry Services says the total cost for the three new ferries, including duty, will be $542 million. Without federal duty the total would be $461 million.

“BC Ferry Services is paying more money for smaller ferries built in a foreign country and giving away 2000 direct jobs and a $542 million investment in our economy – this is an absolutely foolish decision,” MacPherson said.

“The Spirit class ferries built here in BC can carry 470 cars and 2100 passengers compared to just 370 cars and 1650 passengers for the new German Super C class ferries,” MacPherson said. “Even without considering the huge impact of 2000 direct and 3500 indirect jobs and the taxes those workers pay here in BC, it is still a huge mistake to go overseas.”

MacPherson said BC Ferry Services CEO David Hahn is also intentionally misleading the public by falsely claiming he is “saving” $160 million by building ferries in Germany instead of BC when he has never allowed BC shipyards to make a fixed-price bid on the project.

“David Hahn should be ashamed of himself for excluding Washington Marine Group from ever having a chance to make a fixed-price bid on these ferries and then saying BC Ferry Services is saving money over building in BC – that is simply false – the BC shipyard was never allowed to even make a bid but the German and Finnish shipyards were,” MacPherson said.

“Mr. Hahn and BC Ferry Services will never know how competitive BC shipyards could have been because they never gave them a chance to make a fixed-price bid on this project,” he said.

For more information : Call George MacPherson at cell 604-220-3291 or 604-254-8204 or Bill Tieleman, West Star Communications, at cell 778-896-0964 or 604-844-7827. For background, please go to:


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