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

‘Hate will not be tolerated:’ Vernon mayor

City, groups speak out against racism-promoting flyers spread around town

Two taken to hospital after logging truck rolls over near Lumby

Single-lane alternating traffic is in effect on Lumby-Mabel Lake Road near Birch Road

Police block off Kalamalka Lake Road in Coldstream due to incident

RCMP responded to early-morning report of man in distress, road to be closed for “several hours”

Vernon college students seek harvesting help in Coldstream

Volunteer apple pickers are needed for a project that turns unused fruit into snacks for children

B.C. counts 125 new COVID-19 cases, up to 1,284 active

No new deaths or health care facility outbreaks

Mitchell’s Musings: Predictions, politics and pandemics

Columnist Glenn Mitchell offers some random thoughts on current affairs

RCMP seize guns, drugs, motorhome from Okanagan residence

Search warrant executed in relation to an ongoing investigation into drug trafficking

Lessons from a pandemic: How to design a nursing home that’s safe and love-filled

A look at how one care home is battling the pandemic with the social needs of the elderly in their care

Winter tires, chains now mandatory along most B.C. highways

Drivers without the proper winter tires – which must also be in good condition – can be fined $109

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Documentary to celebrate the Shuswap’s music scene

Local initiative to feature several of the region’s artists

Guns seized in relation to southeast Kelowna murder investigation

RCMP seized several firearms from a West Kelowna home on Tuesday

Health Canada green-lights rapid COVID-19 test

Health Canada approved the BCube test from Hyris Ltd. in the United Kingdom Sept. 23

Most Read