BC Ferries board fires chairman and CEO Mark Collins, seeks ‘renewal’

VICTORIA – The British Columbia Ferry Services Board said it has ousted its chairman and chief executive, effective immediately due to staff shortages and ferry cancellations.

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

Joy MacPhail, who was named board chair less than a month ago, says the company has faced staffing, service and COVID issues and that board members believe it is time to renew.

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’ tenure as chief executive, Macphail said the company invested in modernizing terminals, implemented a new fare flexibility model and made significant investments in fleet renewal.

But she says recent difficulties, including numerous canceled crossings, prompted the council to make a decision.

“There is no silver bullet to these systemic challenges, but as a Board of Directors, we believe it is time for renewal, new ideas and a renewed commitment to the highest standards of service to customer satisfaction, safety and affordability,” MacPhail said in the release.

The British Columbia Ferry Services Board will continue to monitor the daily operations of the ferry company, the statement said.

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

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

The Canadian Press

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