The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority is calling on Transport Canada to repeal an order suspending cruises in Canada until March 2022.
Harbour authority CEO Ian Robertson has asked the federal body to end that suspension this fall to allow B.C.’s $2.6-billion cruise industry to gear up for a return in 2022, while adhering to Public Health Safety of Canada measures.
A temporary exemption to the US Passenger Vessel Services Act, signed in May, permits cruise ships to bypass Canada for 2021, but if made permanent would decimate the industry, the harbour authority states.
“Cruise lines need time to prepare for the full resumption of cruise and the Government of Canada, through Transport Canada, needs to signal that they are prepared to welcome the industry back in a safe and measured way,” Robertson said in a release Friday.
“We continue to work with the provincial government and industry partners to ask Transport Canada to confirm that cruise is welcome back to Canada.”
Robertson said the decision should be made in accordance with the reopening of Canada-US land and marine borders.
The harbour authority is a community-based, not-for-profit organization that oversees growth and stewardship in Victoria’s working harbour. Among the many waterfront properties it manages is the Victoria Cruise Terminal, which contributes over $130 million annually to the Greater Victoria economy and provides 800 direct and indirect jobs.
For more information on the value of cruises for Greater Victoria, visit gvha.ca.
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