The B.C. Ferries vessel Queen of Cowichan at Nanaimo’s Departure Bay terminal.

B.C. Ferries cuts service levels by half, ceases sailings from three terminals

New schedules take effect Saturday, April 4

Ferries will stop sailing out of three Vancouver Island terminals for the next two months as B.C. Ferries is making major reductions in sailings on all its routes.

The ferry corporation announced Friday morning that service cuts will take effect Saturday, April 4, for a 60-day period.

All service on the Departure Bay-Horseshoe Bay route between Nanaimo and West Vancouver is being ceased, as is all service on the Brentwood Bay-Mill Bay route.

Regular sailings will be cut by 50 per cent on the Tsawwassen-Duke Point and Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay routes, though B.C. Ferries will run four additional cargo-only round trips between Tsawwassen and Duke Point.

The Langdale-Horseshoe Bay route will see a 25-per cent service reduction.

The press release notes that the changes are meant to protect the health and safety of communities and ferry workers and better match service levels to the current demand. Mark Collins, B.C. Ferries president and CEO, said in a video message that ferry traffic is down 80 per cent.

“These changes are designed to ensure we have sufficient capacity to allow the flow of essential goods, services, supplies and workers to their destinations,” said Collins in a press release. “We will continue to transport the goods communities rely on, and we will get people to where they need to go.”

Collins added, in a video message, that the service reductions “will result in temporary layoffs for hundreds of dedicated and loyal ferry workers.” He said the goal is to keep the layoff periods “as short as possible” and said the corporation’s skilled workers will be needed to restore ferry service when traffic returns.

“This was not an easy decision to make,” he said. “We know how hard this will be for our employees and their families.”

The B.C. Ferry and Marine Workers’ Union, in a special bulletin April, shared information with members about available financial supports and benefits and added that “we feel blind-sided” by B.C. Ferries’ decision.

“That B.C. Ferries has announced this to you is at best premature, and leaves us concerned the employer intends to ignore clear provisions of the collective agreement,” the bulletin noted. “It is disappointing that B.C. Ferries is taking a cavalier approach to the welfare of our members in a time of crisis.”

READ ALSO: B.C. Ferries passengers staying away, as asked, during COVID-19 pandemic

The regular service cuts on the Tsawwassen-Duke Point and Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay routes will see four round-trips per day instead of eight. Gibsons-Horseshoe Bay will see six round-trips per day instead of eight.

Northern and mid-coast ferry service will continue to operate at winter service levels and the summer direct service from Bella Coola to Port Hardy will not come into effect.

Collins said in the video message that the Tsawwassen-southern Gulf Islands route will see one-ship service using a Salish-class vessel based in Swartz Bay. Salt Spring Island’s service from Long Harbour will be suspended, but the island will continue to be served by its two remaining routes.

READ ALSO: B.C. Ferries halts all food service as sandwiches go uneaten amid COVID-19

READ ALSO: B.C. Ferries stops serving hot food on vessels as COVID-19 response

READ ALSO: People now allowed to stay in cars on B.C. Ferries to avoid COVID-19 spread



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Coronavirus

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

Just Posted

Eco-friendly bus service seeks to add Kelowna to Osoyoos route

Bus would stop in Kelowna, West Kelowna, Peachland, Summerland, Penticton, Kaledan, Oliver, Osoyoos

Kelowna trial date set for Penticton quadruple-homicide

John Brittain’s jury trial will commence on Oct 5, 2020 in Kelowna

Small business owner makes big donation to Penticton Food Bank

Across the country, more people are becoming reliant on food bank’s amid COVID-19

COLUMN: The gentle art of the disagreement

Differing opinions can work as a strength

Be mindful of COVID-19 safety measures, says City of Penticton

“The threat of COVID-19 is not over,” says mayor John Vassilaki

Video: Okanagan mayors encourage water conservation this summer

Water conservation this summer could be more important than ever, experts say

Kelowna’s main drag will be closed to vehicles this summer

Kelowna’s Bernard Avenue will be a pedestrian-only roadway from June 29 through the Labour Day long weekend

Vernon gym knocked out by COVID-19

9Round Fitness in Vernon Square Mall owners announce permanent closure of facility

Snapshot: Distanced dancing in Salmon Arm

Friends use picnic shelter at Blackburn Park for safe practice

Kelowna’s Homebase Baseball Tournament cancelled

A live auction will still take place to raise funds for Joeanna’s House

Kelowna General Hospital Foundation launches fundraising initiative to support local health care

The initiative also highlights workers at Kelowna General Hospital

Kelowna man charged with harming a hamster

The 20-year-old Kelowna man faces several animal cruelty charges

High tech fish transport system set up to ‘whoosh’ salmon past Big Bar landslide

Fish will spend roughly 20 seconds inside the system, moving at roughly 20 metres per second

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Most Read