With another year lost for the cruise industry, Greater Victoria will lose about $260 million in economic benefits derived from those visits. The blow has disrupted businesses across the region — even as there are new reasons to be concerned about government inaction.
The federal government's decision to close international borders prompted the state of Alaska to push for changes to US legislation that has been critical to the growth of the cruise industry in BC. Under a 19th-century law, ships travelling between US ports — such as in Washington State and Alaska — were required to stop in another country along the way, unless the vessels were built in the US. In a move that caught the provincial government off-guard, the law was temporarily changed to allow ships to bypass Canada while our borders are closed.
The Chamber is working to support local businesses and organizations, including the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority, to make sure our provincial and federal governments understand that this change cannot be allowed to become permanent.
To hear from locals affected by the loss of cruise ships, check out this video produced for the GVHA by Roll.Focus.Productions, with comments from Seaspan and The Bay Centre.