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

A victory year for Barriere Blooms

Barriere was blooming this summer. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, residents and businesses… Continue reading

TNRD supports reduced speed limit for Dixon Mountain

The Thompson-Nicola Regional District has put its support behind efforts to get… Continue reading

District of Barriere Utilities Manager reports to council on Barriere wells

District of Barriere Utilities Manager Ian Crosson presented a verbal report during… Continue reading

Keep your bubbles small this fall

Fewer contacts and smaller bubbles will help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Be bear aware as bruins roam the valley

Over the last couple of weeks, many residents in the Valley have… Continue reading

BC Liberal Leader talks drug addiction in the Lower Mainland

Drug addiction and public safety a top priority says Andrew Wilkinson

Pandemic derails CP Holiday Train

Canadian Pacific will work to get donations to food banks while also producing an online music concert

Interior Health reports five new COVID-19 cases

Across the region, 34 cases are active

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Vanderhoof’s Brian Frenkel takes on top job in tough times

We can get through this, new local government leader says

Local councils important, Horgan says as municipal conference ends

B.C. NDP leader says ‘speed dating’ vital, online or in person

Penticton woman sentenced to one year in prison for manslaughter of teen boyfriend

Kiera Bourque, 24, was sentenced for manslaughter in the 2017 death of Penticton’s Devon Blackmore

B.C. Green leader says NDP abandoning environmental plan

Horgan’s claim of unstable government false, Furstenau says

Most Read