The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority says 2019 included a successful cruise ship season. (Don Denton/News Staff)

The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority says 2019 included a successful cruise ship season. (Don Denton/News Staff)

Victoria council chambers packed for ongoing environmental cruise ship discussions

Union workers, neighbourhood associations and more gathered for environmental conversations

Council chambers were full Thursday morning as workers from the cruise line industry gathered in support of ongoing discussions. Members from some local unions, including the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, were present while the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA), the James Bay Neighbourhood Association (JBNA) and council workshopped ideas.

The discussion comes after Victoria put forward limiting requests on the cruise industry in October after it found it to be too environmentally damaging.

READ MORE: Victoria councillors aim to halt harbour authority cruise ship expansion plans

Discussions began with JBNA president Marg Gardiner, who also leads an emissions file on the industry.

“This year the increase in passenger counts increased by 21 per cent,” she said. “In the last 15 years it’s been up 150 per cent.”

In 2020 the GVHA expects its highest cruise call count to date, with 284 ships.

With this increase comes the potential of more greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), the JBNA said, noting that while the City aims to reduce GHG by six per cent per year, cruise ships are slated to increase by seven per cent per year. The JBNA also argued that more ships meant more potential for environmental violations, citing that 10 ships which accounted for more than 40 per cent of visits in Victoria received air and water violations from the State of Alaska, where emissions are monitored.

“James Bay residents welcome tourists, we share our community,” Gardiner said. “But to gain social license the cruise industry needs to change, it needs to respect the community it visits and become good corporate citizens in the city.”

ALSO READ: More cruise ships, passengers anticipated in Victoria in 2020

The GVHA followed by saying that efforts were continuing to be made to pare down GHG emissions and be more environmentally friendly. Steps include the recent hiring of an engineering consultant to investigate what would be required to install on-shore power adapters to run the ships while moored.

“Forty-five per cent of ship calls in 2018 were shore power capable, which is very promising,” said GVHA CEO Ian Robertson.

The report is due in the spring or summer of 2020, with most recent cost estimates for a single on-shore power adapter pegged at $12 million in 2012.

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps told Black Press Media that overall she was very satisfied with the meeting as ideas were exchanged.

“I don’t think there’s anyone in that room who didn’t agree on balancing environment and economy,” Helps said. “Our goal is to be the most sustainable destination in the world.”

While the union workers were present because they were fearful of losing their jobs, Helps seemed certain this wasn’t a real threat.

“No one is talking about those jobs going away,” she said. “The industry is responding and it’s about creating jobs in a more sustainable way.”

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

Like us on Facebook Send a Tweet to @NicoleCrescenzi
and follow us on Instagram

Just Posted

O.K. Industries is building a quarry next to Capital Regional District land, as shown in this map from the rezoning applicaiton. (Photo courtesy District of Highlands)
Millstream Quarry wins again in court against Highlands community’s appeal

Judges rule province not obligated to investigate climate change before issuing permit

Cheyenne, six, Savannah, three, and Jeremiah Sinclair, 8, were out on walk with their mother on June 4 when they discovered the first of several hundred fish that died after bleach leaked into Reay Creek. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Spill in Sidney’s Reay Creek turns into ecological lesson for local children

Federal-provincial investigation ongoing into what appears to be a bleach spill

Kidspace, which took over the YMCA-YWCA childcare centre at Eagle Creek Village, plans to reopen the Y’s fitness centre as the Eagle Creek Athletic Club in September. (Photo courtesy of Kidpsace)
Former Y fitness centre in View Royal aims to reopen in September

Kidspace taking over both the gym and the childcare facility at Eagle Creek Village

Mural artist Paul Archer will soon begin work on a piece on the rear of a building at 100 Burnside Road West. (Gorge Tillicum Community Association)
Back of Burnside building in Saanich to feature mural of hope and positivity

Artist Paul Archer says subject will inspire memories, depict children’s future, sunshine, flowers

Saanich Volunteer Services Society volunteers head out to deliver this week’s meals to local seniors. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
VIDEO: Weekly meal deliveries help brighten the day for Saanich seniors

Seniors are delivered nutritional meals by a group of volunteers every Wednesday

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
VIDEO: Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

Two Lotto Max tickets sold on Vancouver Island were winners, though nobody won the $70-million jackpot in Tuesday’s draw. (BCLC image)
Vancouver Island lottery players win $1 million and $500,000 in Lotto Max draw

$1 million ticket sold in Campbell River, $500,000 ticket sold in Nanaimo

St. Joseph's Mission site is located about six kilometres from Williams Lake First Nation. (Photo submitted)
Williams Lake First Nation to search residential school site for unmarked graves

St. Joseph’s Mission Indian Residential School operated from 1886 to 1981

Tuesday’s Lotto Max draw went unclaimed. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Tuesday’s Lotto Max draw went unclaimed. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lotto Max jackpot goes unclaimed again

42 of the 64 Maxmillion prizes of $1 million were won, the majority were sold in Ontario

FILE - This July 6, 2017 file photo shows prescription drugs in a glass flask at the state crime lab in Taylorsville, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
Contaminants in generic drugs may cause long-term harm to DNA: B.C. researcher

Scientist says findings suggest high volume overseas facilities require strict regulation

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., on April 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Labour shortages, closed borders major obstacles to B.C. restaurant, tourism restarts

Industry expert says it won’t start to recover until international travellers can visit

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Most Read