January 12, 2016 12:53 am
Updated: January 12, 2016 3:00 am

Queen of Chilliwack sold to Fijian company for less than $2M: report

WATCH: Five years after it underwent $15 million in upgrades, BC Ferries has sold the decommissioned Queen of Chilliwack for $1.6 million. As Aaron McArthur reports, critics are crying foul.

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The Queen of Chilliwack has a new address and a new name. The Lomaiviti Princess 3 now plies the warm waters around Fiji.

The owner of the vessel is a former BC Ferries employee who set up his own ferry operation in the island nation.

The Queen of Chilliwack ran the central coast route, but was decommissioned during recent service cuts.

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Five years ago the vessel was given $15 million in upgrades. The province did not disclose the sale price.

But according to news reports in Fiji, Gondaur Shipping paid around 2.5 million Fijian dollars for the vessel, which comes to less than $2 million CDN.

NDP MLA Gary Holman wants to know why the provincial government sold the vessel for such a low price.

“It appears to be willing to sell off a recently refitted ferry at a small fraction of the price they received it,” he said.

“It makes no sense at all. It’s mismanagement in the highest order.”

The Queen of Chilliwack is not the first B.C. ferry to be sold at a discount. In the late ‘90s, the NDP government built three fast cat ferries at a cost of around $450 million. They were later sold for around $20 million.

– With files from Aaron McArthur

© 2016 Shaw Media

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