Letter: With regard to the new BCF wifi service at the Gabriola terminal in Nanaimo:

Tuesday, April 25 2017

Someone has put you in prison, unlawfully. You’ve been there for years. The food has always been terrible. One day, the food improves slightly. And - bonus! - the sheets on the cot you sleep on get changed for ones that don’t smell quite as bad. The announcement about these grand improvements is made to great fanfare by the wardens of the prison. Would you cheer along with them? Maybe, for a minute, but you’d likely feel sick doing so. You would remember that you are in prison, unlawfully, and that slightly better food and slightly less smelly sheets don’t mean much. With the announcement, you would also learn that these wonderful gifts from your jailers is all you’re going to get from them with regard to any improvement in your lot for years to come. No, I doubt that you’d muster much of a cheer at that news…

There is now BCF wifi at the Gabe terminal in town. In case anyone is wondering about the timing of its arrival, wonder no longer. Here is a quote, pasted from the BC Libs’ website: 

“And, as a bonus for ferry users frustrated by intermittent WiFi on BC Ferries vessels and in waiting areas, Today’s BC Liberals will provide $1 million to improve capacity and reliability of wireless internet service.” https://www.bcliberals.com/blog/news/ferries-tax-break-better-wifi-planned-premier-christy-clark-todays-bc-liberals/

This statement from your “Island Champions’” is accompanied by news of their grand plan to lessen the burden of expensive ferry fares for coastal dwellers. 

The plan is, no surprise, a lot of hot air and won’t do anything to help the most vulnerable. And sweet p-all for anyone else. Oh yes - and it won’t happen until 2020. It is, at least, a solid answer for anyone who’s been wondering: that’s it. That’s what you can expect from the Liberals with regard to dealing with out of control ferry fares. 

So, wifi service finally arrives, a few weeks before the election. Uh-huh. Part of one milllllion dollars to upgrade wifi across the fleet. In case you didn’t notice, the wifi in the major terminals is usually useless and the wifi on the ships is always useless. I’d be curious to hear an estimate from an IT person just how far a million dollars will go towards fixing that. My guess is not very far.  

The most positive takeaway I can see here is that this cynically timed gift of Gabe terminal wifi and its attendant useless tax break can help draw attention to the fact that the Liberals have now come right out and said that they’re not going to do anything to change the disastrous BCF policies they set into motion several years ago. 

~ Corbin Keep