Passengers and vehicles line up to board at B.C. Ferries Tsawwassen terminal, July 2018. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

COVID-19: Horgan protests forcing B.C. Ferries passengers out of cars

Transport Canada order set to take effect Sept. 30

B.C. Premier John Horgan wasted no time in protesting the federal government’s decision to re-impose its rule that B.C. Ferries passengers have to leave vehicles on the lower decks during sailings.

Horgan said he immediately raised the issue with Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland Sept. 9, the day the decision to remove the temporary exemption put in place for the COVID-19 pandemic. Transport Canada lifted its requirement to vacate lower decks earlier this year after B.C. officials pressed federal officials repeatedly about keeping the ferry system functioning with greatly reduced traffic. Effective Sept. 30, passengers on lower decks must come up to passenger decks, which are subject to mandatory mask rules and have much of their seating blocked off to preserve physical distance.

Horgan said the regulation is stricter than it needs to be for most of the coastal routes B.C. Ferries follows. It was imposed in the wake of the 2006 sinking of the Queen of the North during an Inside Passage sailing at night. Two passengers in the lower vehicle decks died.

2013: Queen of the North officer jailed for negligence

2016: B.C. Ferries passengers banned from lower decks

“This is something that’s being imposed, returning to a previous situation that we also felt was a bit heavy-handed for the inland waters that our ferries travel in,” Horgan told reporters in Victoria. “We are in the throes of moving resources into public transit, whether it be B.C. Transit, TransLink and B.C. Ferries so we can stabilize public transportation systems. This is an unwelcome intrusion by the federal government at this time, and we’re going to pursue it aggressively.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

bc ferryCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Meet the 10-year-old girl who grew a pineapple in northern B.C.

Emily Atkins discovers it takes a lot of patience to grow tropical fruit in a temperate climate

Single-engine aircraft crashes near Telkwa

Two occupants of the plane sustained minor injuries and were transported to hospital

Search on for mushroom picker missing from near Kitwanga

Tommy Dennis was last seen Sept 16 wearing blue jeans, black cap, rubber boots, grey checked sweater

Northwest firefighters headed to Oregon to battle wildfires

Over 200 B.C. firefighting personnel will assist in the U.S.

Cullen announces bid for provincial NDP nomination for Stikine riding

Current MLA Donaldson not seeking re-election

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

70-year-old punched in the head in dispute over disability parking space in Nanaimo

Senior’s turban knocked off in incident at mall parking lot

Most Read