A ferry sailing to Nanaimo was delayed in Horseshoe Bay this morning after anti-maskers caused a disturbance on board one of the vessels.
Deborah Marshall, B.C. Ferries spokesperson, said police are dealing with the situation, which she said involved anti-mask protesters.
“There were on the vessel, they were causing a disturbance,” she said. “It’s my understanding there’s a protest in Vancouver today and so we’re assuming that they were en route to that protest.”
An event called the B.C. Freedom Mega Rally is being promoted outside the Vancouver Art Gallery today, Oct. 17, starting at noon.
The protesters travelled from Departure Bay to Horseshoe Bay on the Queen of Oak Bay and the incident in West Vancouver delayed boarding of the Queen of Oak Bay for the return trip.
Peter Mieras of the Alberni Valley was at the front of the ferry lineup in Horseshoe Bay waiting to board and said he saw four police vehicles and officers including police dog handlers. He didn’t personally witness the incident but said he overheard a ferry worker say there were 15 people involved in a disturbance and a brawl and that they were going to be be banned from ferry travel.
B.C. Ferries has a mandatory-mask policy for all travellers on board vessels and at terminals. Marshall said today’s incident was one of the first of its kind B.C. Ferries has seen.
“We won’t tolerate this kind of stuff,” she said. “We’ll ban people from travelling and we’re giving the information to the police.”
The ferry departed about 45 minutes behind schedule.