BC Ferries' Name Contest Backfires

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Like many corporations in this day and age, BC Ferries launched a contest asking the public to submit names for its three new vessels. And like other well-intended campaigns, it has been hijacked with hilarious results on social media.

British Columbians are more than aware that the company continues to struggle with maintaining service and routes, while cutting costs and capping fare increases.

Many of the current ferries' names start with Queen or Spirit, which people have been using as inspiration. The suggestions posted to the BC Ferries Facebook page include:

  • Spirit of the WalletSucker
  • S.S. ShouldveBeenABridge
  • Queen of the Overpriced
  • MV Corporate Pork
  • Queen of No Other Choice
  • Queen of the Cash Cow
  • The Christy Clark Ark
  • Incompetence Afloat

We'd like to award extra points for those who came up with poetic groups of three, like "Highway Robbery, Privatized Backfire, Rip Off," and "Dewey, Cheetham and Howe" plus these #NameAFerry gems from Twitter:

Even the three prizes of $500 in ferry travel ("as well as the satisfaction of naming one of our new Intermediate Class Ferries") was scoffed at.

To be fair, coming up with some suitable names is not as easy as it looks, considering some of the rules:

  • Names should be gender neutral and easy to spell
  • Names should not be geography specific or reference an individual or event
  • Names should not contain words currently used within a BC Ferries vessel name or vessel class name (i.e. QUEEN, SPIRIT, ISLAND, etc.)

BC Ferries CEO and president Mike Corrigan asked people to "think creatively" for the contest, which closes on June 9. Well, that part is being followed at least.

The first of the new ships is scheduled to be rolled out in August 2016 to replace the 50-year-old Queen of Burnaby on the Comox-Powell River route, while a second ferry will take over the Tsawwassen–Southern Gulf Islands sailings from the 51-year-old Queen of Nanaimo. The third will be used to augment service during busy periods for the Southern Gulf Islands, as well as to back up other vessels that undergo repairs.

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