Canadian Cruise Sector Urges Government To Work With US To Save Industry – Cruise Industry News


A coalition of Canadian cruise industry companies and associations has called on the Canadian government to “work immediately with the US federal government to develop a mutually beneficial and responsible approach to the handling of cruise lines in Canadian waters and ports.”

The coalition said the entire Pacific Northwest and Alaska have “benefited” from continuous cruising in both Canada and the United States for decades. The tourism sector is “dependent on a robust cruise industry,” said the coalition.

There is an urgent need for dedicated sector engagement to ensure Canada remains a stopover on the “increasingly popular” Alaska cruise expedition, the coalition noted.

“In June we asked the government for clarity, certainty and confidence, and they understood and responded to our request by lifting the suspension of cruise lines in Canadian waters until November 1, 2021,” said Walt Judas, CEO of Tourism Industry Association BC. “But the industry is not up and running yet, and the roadmap between the industry partners, the Province of BC and the Canadian government, is still needed. I am confident that solutions are imminent and that the industry will continue to make a strong contribution to the provincial tourism industry. “

In May 2021, and in response to the closure of Canadian ports through 2021, the United States Congress passed the Alaska Tourism Restoration Act, a bill that provides a temporary exemption from the U.S. Passenger Vessel Services Act (PVSA) aimed at foreign-flagged cruise ships to circumvent federal laws that require them to make an international stopover en route from an American port to Alaska. The bill was subsequently enacted by President Biden, effectively allowing cruise lines to bypass Canada for the 2021 season.

The coalition believes that there is now “an increased risk that this temporary legislation will become permanent,” as Senator Murkowski proposed a bill that would provide a permanent exemption for the PVSA and allow cruise ships in Alaska to meet destinations like Vancouver, Victoria, Bypass, Nanaimo and Prince Rupert. Rep. Young is preparing a similar bill for the House of Representatives in the US Congress.

Should either of these laws be passed, it would decimate British Columbia’s cruise industry, the coalition said.

“Ports along the entire west coast have built strong relationships that recognize that international borders are not an obstacle to the growth of our economies together,” said Ian Robertson, CEO of the Greater Victoria Harbor Authority. “The pandemic has shown us that we need to maintain an open and constructive dialogue across borders. The Government of Canada understands the damage caused when we closed our ports to cruise lines and then failed to respond to requests to find solutions for the 2021 Alaska cruise season. Now is the time to work on repairing those relationships. “

According to a press release, the cruise industry has a combined output of 4.3 billion taxis, visitor destinations, dock workers and maintenance companies.

“Canada’s cruise industry provides many family support jobs for dock workers and others in the cruise and tourism industries,” said Rob Ashton, president of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union – Canada. “The Canadian government needs to ensure that future cruise seasons are not interrupted as they have been in recent years. Canadian jobs must be protected now and in the future. We need a clear way forward. “

The call for the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Secretary of Transportation of Canada to work with the US federal government is signed by 21 Canadian cruise and hospitality CEOs and senior management representatives.

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