The city is buying a new ferry. This is great news! The new ferry will look more or less just like the three now running on the harbour, but it will be much more fuel efficient, pollute less, will be generally spiffier. Spiffy is good.
Currently, the Woodside ferry runs just during rush hour, but the new boat will allow the Woodside ferry to run all day. As part of that expansion, four new buses will service the Woodside Ferry Terminal, connecting to the Portland Hills Terminal. So, good all around.
In its infinite wisdom, city council has agreed to have a ferry naming contest. We like that idea, too. Except....
Vetting of Submissions (August 7 – August 12): HRM Corporate Communications and Metro Transit staff would compile all of the name submissions and pare them down to a short list of acceptable options. The submissions would be vetted by staff based on two criteria: appropriateness and originality. It would be desired that the short list of submissions would contain 15 to 20 names.We don't like this "vetting" business. At all. We're envisioning some soulless, humourless bureaucrat taking the best and greatest ferry name suggestions submitted by the most intelligent, funny and wise citizens, and chucking them right into the landfill, because the name suggestions don't meet the soulless, humourless definition of "appropriateness."
Selection Committee Develops Final Voting List (August 13 – August 21): At this phase, it is asked that a selection committee made up of HRM Mayor Mike Savage and three Regional Councillors (as appointed by members of the three Community Councils) meet with the Directors of both HRM Corporate Communications and Metro Transit to decide on a final five to six submissions that would become the online voting list. Timelines for this phase would be dependent on the Community Council meeting schedule to ensure that a representative from each can be appointed.
And, come on—councillors and bureaucrats are going to decide on the final names???? Flying Spaghetti Monster help us. THIS CAN NOT END WELL.
So The Coast is having a parallel ferry naming contest, to find out what you really think the ferry should be named, and to keep soulless and humourless bureauacrats and councillors a million miles away from interfering with the results. And then, no matter what name the city paints on the side of the boat, we can all call it what readers honestly want it to be called.
Our contest has some simple rules:
1. July 29-August 21. Submissions will be accepted, in the comments below. Our policy: the first commenter to suggest a name will be credited with that name and all close variations as judged by Coast staff. This means you should read all the suggestions already posted so that you're not making a suggestion that we'll ignore. Do not include “H.M.C.S.," “H.M.S.," “U.S.S.” or similar designations. ONE SUGGESTED FERRY NAME PER COMMENTER.
2. Online Voting (August 22 – September 4). We'll set up a separate polling page, and allow readers to vote for their favourite name suggestion. The Coast will monitor the voting as we do all Coast polls, and make whatever judgement calls we feel necessary.
3. September 5. The winner will be announced. We'll find some not-so-fabulous prize to give to the winning entry, and of course the winner will have bragging rights.
Oh, if for some reason you want soulless and humourless bureaucrats and politicians vetting your ferry name suggestion, you can join the city's painful contest, here.
But we think the more honest and fun suggestions will be found in the comments below. So have at it...