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BC Ferries workers accused of smoking pot

A Transportation Safety Board memo warning B.C. Ferries that crew members were smoking pot on the job was a real bummer for boss David Hahn.

In an Oct. 23, 2007 staff memo published Monday, Hahn complained that the “inference may cast a shadow on our workforce." The federal regulator's Oct. 17, 2007 memo was about cannabis use by crew members of B.C. Ferries’ northern fleet. *

“While the company may not agree with all aspects of TSB’s memorandum, we do take it very seriously and are committed to making improvements throughout the fleet to the areas highlighted by TSB,” Hahn wrote.

The 2008-published TSB investigation into the March 22, 2006, sinking of the Queen of the North said “some crew members in safety-critical positions” were casual marijuana users who lit up on board or in port. There was no proof that key crew members were stoned or drunk when the ferry struck Gil Island, but no toxicological tests were performed.

B.C. Ferries has had a zero tolerance policy to drugs and alcohol since 2005 and a counseling and rehabilitation program for employees. Employees are subject to mandatory drug tests.

* Corrected, Jan. 27, 2011.

Bob Mackin reports for Vancouver 24 Hours.

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