BC Ferries. (Nicole Crescenzi/Black Press Staff)

Feds offer ‘life preserver’ funds to BC Ferries as pandemic sinks revenue

For every dollar the province spends the federal government will match

BC Ferries will be eligible for bailout funding from the federal and provincial governments with the aim of getting service back to pre-pandemic levels.

Transportation Minister Claire Trevena and federal Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson announced the new matching agreement Tuesday (Aug. 11).

Under the agreement, the federal government will match every dollar the province spends. The same agreement has been signed between B.C. and Ottawa for TransLink and BC Transit operations, as part of $1.2 billion set aside by the feds for transit aid.

According to reports, BC Ferries has lost an estimated $130 million in revenue since COVID-19 forced lockdowns across the province.

The new funding comes after the ferry service was initially turned down for financial aid.

ALSO READ: BC Ferries’ COVID-related financial woes compounded by lack of transit bailout funding

In June, the province and ferries came to a funding agreement to prevent cuts to coastal routes. Since then, ferry sailings have increased as part of B.C.’s economic restart plan.

A task force with representatives from the provincial government, BC Ferry Authority and BC Ferries Service Inc. board will bring forward a plan for BC Ferries to build out of the pandemic.

Trevena told reporters during Tuesday’s press conference it would not be in the public’s interest to raise fares on the ferries, adding that ferry service levels would be kept as high as possible.

“It’s entirely appropriate in a province like British Columbia that we are thinking about the transit needs of all communities, not simply those folks who live in large cities,” added Wilkinson. “And that is fundamentally why BC Ferries was included.”

ALSO READ: BC Ferries passengers travelling for medical reasons to get priority boarding

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

bc ferry

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nanaimo’s Western Edge Theatre returns to the stage in Port Theatre debut

Theatre group presents ‘2 Across,’ described as a ‘middle-aged romantic comedy’

Purebred breeders go for a walk in Nanaimo to show off their dogs

Purebred dog breeders sometimes get a bad rap, says event organizer

City reviewing plans for huge Sandstone project in south Nanaimo

Seacliff Properties says it’s been told to be ready for a public hearing this fall

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

COVID-19 isn’t cancelling this year’s Tour de Rock

Alumni riders will cycle relay sections in their own communities

B.C. or Ontario? Residential school survivors fight move of court battle

It’s now up to Ontario’s Court of Appeal to sort out the venue question

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Body discovered floating in water near Lasqueti Island

JRCC reports personnel aboard fishing vessel made the find

Young B.C. cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Nanaimo RCMP community policing needs a few good volunteers

Volunteers needed to help Nanaimo RCMP and city deliver crime prevention and safety programs

Protesters march in Nanaimo, calling for greater protection of forests and watersheds

March for the Forests happened downtown on Friday afternoon

Most Read