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Improving a Key B.C.-U.S. Gateway: Belleville International Ferry Terminal

The Belleville International Ferry Terminal in Victoria is a key international gateway to Greater Victoria and Canada for millions of visitors. Owned by the Government of B.C., the terminal is of strategic importance to the province, with an economic impact of $180 million per year. Currently, the terminal is comprised of 20-year-old trailers and other temporary structures. The proposed funding model for a new terminal has five contributing partners: the two ferry operators, City of Victoria, Tourism Victoria, Province of B.C. and the Government of Canada, with an anticipated $40 million in federal funds.

Background

Improvements to the Belleville Terminal are long overdue and necessary for many reasons, not least of which is to improve the passenger experience, attract more visitors to the region, and build on Victoria’s reputation as a world-class destination. Belleville Terminal has long-term leases with two ferry operators: 1. Black Ball Line, the operator of the Coho vehicle ferry service operating between Victoria and Port Angeles, Washington, and 2. Clipper Navigation Ltd., operator of the high-speed catamaran passenger-only service operating between Victoria and Seattle, Washington. To date, all three levels of government plus Tourism Victoria, Clipper and Black Ball have partnered to fund a series of projects, separated into phases:
  • Phase one was funded by the Province, Black Ball Ferry Line and Clipper Navigation Inc. and included replacement of critical marine infrastructure, improved custom facilities, and covered walkways.
  • Phase two is funded by the City of Victoria and Tourism Victoria, aimed to improve Belleville Street.
The next phase relates to the construction of a common ferry terminal building – a facility that has been under discussion since 1993 when the interim Clipper terminal was installed. After many planning studies and concept plans, B.C. is left with ageing and inadequate infrastructure – essentially trailers and other temporary structures – to serve as a high-profile and key gateway to the country.

The new terminal building, with amalgamated border services and pre-clearance, will boost existing cooperation between Customs and Border Protection and the Canada Border Service Agency, provide the infrastructure to make it easier for Canada and the USA to conduct business and also support the Beyond the Border initiative, and improve the processing of passengers crossing the Canadian and U.S. borders.

The proposed funding model for the terminal building has five contributing partners: the two ferry operators, City of Victoria, Tourism Victoria, Province of B.C. and the Government of Canada. 

The Province of B.C. will retain ownership of the buildings and related land.

THE CHAMBER RECOMMENDS

That the Provincial Government complete its business case and proceed to request federal funding.

CHAMBER
PARTNERS

Chamber of Commerce Group Insurance Plan University of Victoria Co-operative Education Program and Career Services