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

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

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
47 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health region

1,538 total cases, 399 are active, ten in hospital

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 65 new cases of COVID-19

Province-wide, there are 887 new cases of the virus

The current state of the Royal Hotel. (Photo Contributed by Richard Leeks)
‘No one is willing to step up to take any responsibility’: Royal owners plow on with renovictions

Heat, kitchen appliances, doors, running water and WiFi have been allegedly removed

RDEK reminds public to register for their emergency notification system. File photo.
RDEK reminds residents to register for East Kootenay Evacuation Notification System

Provincial Alert system cannot be used for local emergencies

City of Fernie city hall. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
City of Fernie: New orders a challenge, but community is supportive

Mayor Qualizza said that the new public health orders were an opportunity to safeguard the winter season

(Dave Landine/Facebook)
VIDEO: Dashcam captures head-on crash between snowplow and truck on northern B.C. highway

Driver posted to social media that he walked away largely unscathed

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

A Canadian Pacific freight train travels around Morant’s Curve near Lake Louise, Alta., on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014. A study looking at 646 wildlife deaths along the railway tracks in Banff and Yoho national parks in Alberta and British Columbia has found that train speed is one of the biggest factors. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Study finds train speed a top factor in wildlife deaths in Banff, Yoho national parks

Research concludes effective mitigation could address train speed and ability of wildlife to see trains

A airport worker is pictured at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C. Wednesday, March 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canada extends COVID restrictions for non-U.S. travellers until Jan. 21 amid second wave

This ban is separate from the one restricting non-essential U.S. travel

Menno Place. (Google Street View image.)
B.C. care home looks to hire residents’ family members amid COVID-19-related staff shortage

Family would get paid as temporary workers, while having chance to see loved ones while wearing PPE

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
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

A man walks by a COVID-19 test pod at the Vancouver airport in this undated handout photo. A study has launched to investigate the safest and most efficient way to rapidly test for COVID-19 in people taking off from the Vancouver airport. The airport authority says the study that got underway Friday at WestJet’s domestic check-in area is the first of its kind in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Vancouver Airport Authority *MANDATORY CREDIT*
COVID-19 rapid test study launches at Vancouver airport for departing passengers

Airport authority says that a positive rapid test result does not constitute a medical diagnosis for COVID-19

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

Most Read