BC Ferries board fires president and CEO Mark Collins, seeks 'renewal'

·1 min read

VICTORIA — The British Columbia Ferry Services Board says it has ousted its president and CEO, effective immediately amid staffing shortages and ferry cancellations.

A statement from the publicly owned company says the board has decided to end its contract with Mark Collins who's been with BC Ferries for 18 years, the last five as CEO.

Joy MacPhail, who was appointed the board chair less than a month ago, says the company has faced staffing, service and COVID-related challenges and board members believe it is time for renewal.

A statement from BC Ferries says Collins will be replaced on an interim basis by Jill Sharland, the chief financial officer, while a search is underway for a permanent CEO.

During Collins' time as chief executive office, Macphail says the company invested in upgrades to terminals, implemented a new fare flexibility model and made significant investments in fleet renewal.

But she says recent difficulties that include numerous cancelled sailings prompted the board's decision.

"There are no quick fixes to these systemic challenges but as a board, we believe it is time for renewal, fresh ideas and a renewed commitment to the highest standards of customer service, safety and affordability,” MacPhail says in the release.

The British Columbia Ferry Services Board will continue to provide oversight in the day-to-day operations of the ferry company, the statement says.

BC Ferries provides passenger and vehicle ferry services for coastal and island communities in the province, operating 39 vessels moving more than 22 million passengers and 8 million vehicles to 47 ports every year.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 22, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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