VANCOUVER, B.C. — The Province of B.C. has rid itself of its much-maligned Fast Ferries, by auctioning them off at a combined price of less than $20 million yesterday.
The ferries were originally purchased by the provincial NDP party while it was in power for more than $450 million. Almost immediately, the ferries came under scrutiny. Technical problems plagued two of the mega-ferries, and they were put out of service within months of their purchase.
Environmental concerns and other issues resulted in the parking of the third PacifiCat, completing one of the biggest financial blunders ever made by the province. It helped pave the way for a Liberal landslide in the following provincial election.
“Our goal was to sell the fast ferries and that’s precisely what’s been done,” says B.C. Ferries chief executive officer Doug Allen. “It was important to us to bring this to closure. We didn’t have any price expectations.”
The ferries had been for sale for more than two years, but no reasonable offers could be completed until yesterday’s auction. B.C. Ferries said the ferries had a book value of $70 million as of the auction.
An unnamed North American was the successful bidder.
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