Statement on the extended suspension of cruise in Canada
As the owner and operator of the Victoria Cruise Terminal at The Breakwater District, we support the decision by Transport Canada to extend the suspension of cruise in Canada until Feb. 28, 2022.
The health and safety of the community, and the efforts made to reduce the spread of COVID-19, remain our top priority. Cruise will resume when it is safe to do so, when border restrictions are removed, and when people may safely enjoy non-essential travel.
For our not-for-profit organization, cruise represents more than 70% of our annual revenues, or more than $12.5 million in 2020. The impact on our organization has led to a permanent reduction of staff in some departments and a move to essential service only in our operations. Contracts with many local businesses have also been cut or reduced due to these reductions. Further cuts to services remain possible and will be reviewed by management.
Victorians will see the impact of lost revenues across our properties. We will proceed with substantially reduced landscaping and beautification throughout the Inner Harbour – including the inability to plant and maintain the ‘Welcome to Victoria’ garden on the south side of the Lower Causeway. Many events – those that are safe to operate under Provincial Health Orders – will be cancelled due to our inability to dedicate staff time or financial support.
We also know that the extension of this suspension will create a devastating impact on the dozens of local, small businesses that are involved with cruise in Victoria. Over the past year, businesses that serve the cruise industry adjusted, postponed, and pivoted with the hope that cruise would return in 2021. This further uncertainty will have a lasting impact on small businesses in Greater Victoria. We hope that many of these businesses will survive the coming months until the resumption of cruise is permitted.
We look forward to the safe resumption of cruise in the future, which will be a result of national efforts to reduce the impact of COVID-19 including increased health and safety measures, vaccinations, and continued layers of personal protection. Our team will be ready to welcome passengers and crew when ships return to Victoria.
About the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority
The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority is a community-based, not-for-profit organization that is committed to the stewardship and sustainable growth of Victoria’s dynamic working harbour. The organization is governed by a 13-member Board of Directors, represented by four independent community members and eight Member Agencies: Esquimalt Nation, Songhees Nation, Capital Regional District, City of Victoria, Township of Esquimalt, The Chamber, Victoria Esquimalt Harbour Society, and Destination Greater Victoria.
The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority owns and operates several high-profile community amenities including the Ogden Point Breakwater, Inner Harbour lower causeway, Ship Point, and customs dock at Raymur Point. Within its commercial and marine industrial holdings are The Breakwater District at Ogden Point, Fisherman’s Wharf, four Inner Harbour marinas, and the historic Steamship Terminal. The organization manages the Victoria Cruise Terminal at The Breakwater District, which contributes more than $130 million annually to the Greater Victoria economy and is responsible for 800 direct and indirect jobs.