BC Ferries. (Nicole Crescenzi/Black Press Staff)

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

Five properties have been added to the Lake Country fire protection zone, after council moved to expand the local service area Tuesday, May 4, 2021. (Google Maps)
Lake Country expands fire protection zone, covering 5 exposed properties

The properties petitioned to join the local service area after being left out ‘for reasons unknown’

VSAR’s Air Rescue One unit assisted in a rescue in West Kelowna May 3, 2021. (VSAR screenshot)
VIDEO: VSAR’s Air Rescue One team assists in West Kelowna Rescue

The Vernon Search and Rescue helicopter team pulled off a successful rescue Monday

Peachland resident and cleanup volunteer Lloyd Stinson Sotas holds up a discarded TV riddled with bullet holes. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
PHOTOS: Peachland residents clean up community watershed

More than 70 people gave back to Mother Earth by assisting with the cleanup

Kelowna Toyota is located at 1200 Leathead Road. (BLack Press Media file)
Kelowna Toyota’s auto service department closed due to COVID-19 exposure

The dealership’s sales department is still open and is operating under regular business hours

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Kelowna OK Tire closed due to COVID-19 exposure

The business will remain closed until May 11

Two e-scooters parked on the sidewalk along Water Street in downtown Kelowna on Monday, May 3. Scooters parked on walkways are causing accessibility issues for some people with disabilities. (Michael Rodriguez/Capital News)
Black Press Media Weekly Roundup: Top headlines this week

Here’s a quick summary of the stories that made an impact from May 3 to 5

City of Vernon Coun. Dalvir Nahal proposed two blocks of Main Street be closed to bolster recovery for downtown businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Caitlin Clow - Vernon Morning Star)
Vernon’s ‘support local’ Main Street closure would cost city $24K, staff say

Bylaw costs, loss of parking revenue and equipment logistics behind price tag

Officials are surveying the streets of Vernon to get a better sense of the issue of homelessness in the city, as part of the province’s point-in-time homeless count for 2021. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Province conducts homeless count in Vernon

It’s the first time Vernon has been included in the provincial homeless count

A map showing where the most number of cases were recorded from April 23 to 29. This map, revealing a breakdown of infections by neighborhood, was pulled from a data package leaked to the Vancouver Sun last week (and independently verified).
36 Abbotsford schools flagged for COVID-19 exposures in the last 2 weeks, shattering record

Clearbrook Elementary recorded an ‘exposure’ on all 11 school days

A proposed development would see two four-storey affordable housing complexes erected on Adair Street in Armstrong, next to the Nor-Val Arena. (Google Maps)
Local tenants to be prioritized for Armstrong affordable housing project

Staff have drafted an expression of interest to find a developer to move forward with on the project

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Canada’s chief public health officer is reminding Canadians even those who are fully vaccinated are not immune from transmitting the COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns full vaccination does not equal full protection from COVID-19

Post-inoculation, Theresa Tam says the risk of asymptomatic infection and transmission is far lower but not obsolete

The dash cam footage, taken May 7 at 8:18 a.m. belonged to the driver of a southbound vehicle that recently travelled out of the tunnel. (Reddit/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Dash cam captures dramatic rollover crash on Highway 99

Only one person sustained injuries from the collision, says B.C. Ambulance Services

Most Read