Bill 20 Highlights

These highlights of Bill 20, given Royal Assent on June 3, 2010 and amending the Coastal Ferry Act of 2003, were prepared by the Commission for the convenience of readers. Caution: this is not a complete list of the amendments.  Neither is this an official summary. This is a conveniently annotated version of the 2003 Coastal Ferry Act showing the changes. For the full and official amendments, refer to the Miscellaneous Statutes Amendment Act (no.3) 2010, Part 12.

TOPIC[affected section of Coastal Ferry Act] and when force by Order in Council 471 of June 24, 2010 NEWwith enactment of Bill 20 OLDin 2003 Coastal Ferry Act
Board Separation [2] to [13](effective October 1, 2010)
  • BC Ferry Authority and BC Ferry Services Inc. (BCFS) boards will no longer have directors in common.
  • no longer can BCFS employees/executives/officers serve on the BCFS Board.
  • there was considerable overlap in the membership of the boards.
  • BCFS’ CEO served as a director of BCFS
Public Sector Pay Benchmark and Limits [14][18][21](effective June 24 2010)
  • Remuneration for directors of other BC public sector organizations becomes the benchmark for both boards.
  • For BCFS executives, the comparison is compensation for similar roles in public sector organizations.
  • Compensation for existing executives is grandfathered and new rules apply to new executives
  • Remuneration is to be reported annually.
  • The BCFS board set its own compensation and approves the executive compensation.
  • The Authority directors’ compensation paralleled the BCFS directors’.
Freedom of Information(effective October 1, 2010)
  • The Authority and BCFS are added to the list of bodies subject to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIPP) Act.
  • These bodies were not subject to FOIPP Act.
Public feedback and interests of ferry users to be considered [38](effective June 24 2010)
  • Public feedback is added as an explicit consideration in regulation
  • in regulating BC Ferries, the commissioner must consider the interests of ferry users
  • Public feedback was not mentioned in the Act’s section on principles of regulation.
  • “interests of ferry users” were not explicitly mentioned as a consideration in regulation
Reservations [1][41]
(effective June 24 2010)
  • For the commission’s four-yearly price cap review, BCFS must supply a plan for improving efficiency [40(1.1)] and a capital plan [64.1], for publication by the Commission.
  • The Commission must solicit the comments of the public, and review them, on these and other reports of BCFS.
  • The commission required similar plans of BCFS in the past, and published some (notably re: fuel efficiency);
  • but the Act did not make explicit requirements for these plans to be created, published, or the subject of solicited public comment.
Allocation of Terminal Costs Among Routes [40] (effective June 24, 2010]
  • BC Ferries must provide information on the methodology by which terminal expenses are allocated among its routes
  • There was no such requirement
Regulation of unfair competitive advantage [45.1]
(effective June 24 2010)
  • If the commission finds that BCFS has an unfair competitive advantage in providing a competitive service (e.g. carriage of drop trailers), it would have to order BCFS either (a) to provide the service through and Alternative Service Provider located through a commission-approved competitive process, or (b) to charge at least a minimum tariff specified by the commission.
  • There were no provisions surrounding competitive advantage.
Customer Complaints Process [45.2]
(effective June 24 2010)
  • BCFS must identify how it deals with customer complaints, obtain commission approval of the process and report on complaints received.
  • There was no regulation of the complaints-handling process;
  • There were only requirements for BCFS to undertake customer satisfaction survey and provide them to the commission, which remain
Opinion on Authority and BCFS performing obligations [53]
(effective October 1 2010)
  • The commission is to report annually on its opinions on whether the Authority and BCFS have performed their respective obligations under the Act, and also whether BCFS has performed its obligations under its contract with the Province.
  • The commission was not explicitly called upon for such opinions (though it offered some).
Search for Alternative Service Providers [69]
(effective June 24 2010)
  • The commission can order BCFS to seek Alternative Service Providers (ASPs) on any given route.
  • BCFS must then promptly provide its plan for the ASP search for the commission’s approval (if the commission is satisfied that it proposes a fair and competitive process) and report on its search.
  • If BCFS does not promptly provide the ASP plan, the commission can itself create a plan that BCFS must then follow to seek ASPs on the given route(s).
  • For each performance term, BCFS had to (a) prepare a plan for seeking ASPs (b) provide it to the commission and (c) then follow its plan.
  • If the commission found that BCFS had failed to do this, the commission could (a) adjust price caps (via a changes productivity factor) and (b) order BCFS to prepare another plan satisfactory to the commission, and require BCFS to follow it.