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.

No more ferries will sail from Departure Bay, Mill Bay, Brentwood Bay during COVID-19 pandemic

B.C. Ferries announces major changes to sailing schedules for 60 days starting 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 daily 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

Shannon Davis, manager at Sidney’s Star Cinema, holds up the largest available bag of popcorn available for sale at the theatre. It also also sells four smaller sizes in generating revenue following its closure last fall because of COVID-19. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Sidney theatre fills bottom line with popcorn sales

Theatre applying to return to doing our household-only private rentals

The construction zone remains for now at Clover Point, but plans for a new pedestrian zone and partially closed traffic loop were approved by Victoria councillors on Thursday. (Don Descoteau/News Staff)
Victoria council compromises with partial closure of Clover Point

Option preserves parking 14 spots facing ocean, creates more pedestrian space

(Black Press Media file photo)
Trees Cannabis to reignite downtown Victoria location as licensed store

The dispensary will reopen its 230 Cook St. location on Saturday

A wind warning is in effect for Greater Victoria Thursday afternoon. (Black Press Media file photo)
Strong winds predicted for Greater Victoria

Environment Canada issues warning for Thursday afternoon

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media File Photo)
POLL: Are you struggling with Greater Victoria’s cost of housing?

While Victoria remains one of the most expensive cities in the country… Continue reading

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools is preparing a rapid response team proposal for submission to the B.C. Ministry of Education. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district chosen as COVID-19 rapid response team

Team to consist of SD68 and Island Health staff, according to B.C. Ministry of Education

A new survey has found that virtual visits are British Columbian’s preferred way to see the doctor amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Unsplash)
Majority of British Columbians now prefer routine virtual doctor’s visits: study

More than 82% feel virtual health options reduce wait times, 64% think they lead to better health

Captain and Maria, a pair of big and affectionate akbash dogs, must be adopted together because they are so closely bonded. (SPCA image)
Shuswap SPCA seeks forever home for inseparable Akbash dogs

A fundraiser to help medical expenses for Captain and Maria earned over 10 times its goal

The missing camper heard a GSAR helicopter, and ran from his tree well waving his arms. File photo
Man trapped on Manning mountain did nearly everything right to survive: SAR

The winter experienced camper was overwhelmed by snow conditions

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay doctor shares experience contracting COVID-19

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

Ashley Paxman, 29, is in the ICU after being struck by a vehicle along Highway 97 Feb. 18, 2021. She remains in critical condition. (GoFundMe)
Okanagan woman in ICU with broken bones in face after being struck by car

She remains in serious condition following Feb. 18 incident

Most Read