Cruise ship passengers arrive at the port of Ketchikan, Alaska in 2018. Cruise lines have begun booking passengers for trips from Seattle to Alaska as early as this July, bypassing B.C. ports that are not allowed to have visitors until March 2022 under a Canadian COVID-19 restrictions. (Michael Penn/Juneau Empire)

Cruise ship passengers arrive at the port of Ketchikan, Alaska in 2018. Cruise lines have begun booking passengers for trips from Seattle to Alaska as early as this July, bypassing B.C. ports that are not allowed to have visitors until March 2022 under a Canadian COVID-19 restrictions. (Michael Penn/Juneau Empire)

B.C. doesn’t depend on U.S. law to attract cruise ships, Horgan says

Provinces to get update next week on Canada’s border closure

After being caught off guard by the swift passage of a U.S. bill allowing cruise ships to bypass B.C. during the COVID-19 pandemic, Premier John Horgan says he’s doing all he can to urge the Justin Trudeau government to welcome Americans back as soon as possible.

Horgan said Friday he spoke with Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski this week and was assured that the bill she sponsored has a “sunset” clause that will bring back the requirement for a stop in Victoria, Vancouver or Prince Rupert when passenger vessels sail from Seattle or other U.S. ports to Alaska.

Asked about another American political bid this week to make the change permanent, Horgan said he can’t control what U.S. politicians do, but B.C.’s appeal to visitors is enough to keep it in the cruise ship market.

“I am confident that Senator Murkowski wants to make sure we continue to have a positive working relationship,” Horgan told reporters in Victoria June 11. “And the people who are travelling to Alaska have to travel by B.C. Why in the world wouldn’t they want to stop? That is part of the attraction. That is what makes cruising an important part of tourism internationally.”

RELATED: B.C. fears move to allow cruise ships to skip B.C. ports

RELATED: Cancelled 2020 cruise season cost Victoria $130 million

The American cruise ship moves were prompted by a decision by the Justin Trudeau government to declare Canada off limits to cruise ships until March 2022. Alaska politicians led the effort to save their 2021 cruise ship season by amending an 1880s law requiring a foreign stop for foreign-built passenger vessels between U.S. ports. The law was passed to protect U.S. shipbuilding interests in the age of sail and steamships, and a Utah senator has presented another bill to do away with it permanently.

Horgan said the B.C. government is doing all it can to prepare tourist promotion for B.C.’s return to post-pandemic conditions, but it can’t control international borders. Premiers are meeting on the U.S. border issue next week and Horgan said he expects an update on Thursday when Trudeau meets with them.

Canada’s vaccination effort is gaining ground quickly after the U.S. has begun allowing crowds at sporting events and returning to a post-COVID-19 existence.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC politicsCoronavirusCruise Ships

Just Posted

2021 Williams Lake Dry Grad Reverse Parade Saturday, June 12, 2021. (Angie Mindus photos - Williams Lake Tribune)
PHOTOS: Graduates line Western Avenue for 2021 Williams Lake Dry Grad Reverse Parade

Community members waited in line in their vehicles to congratulate grads

Ranch Musings columnist David Zirnhelt. (File photo)
RANCH MUSINGS: Placing hope for the future in our children and their children

I am trying to be sure to include that focus as part of an evolving work/life balance

Graduate Belle Riding is congratulated by Lake City Secondary School learning support teacher Gail Gardner as she makes her way across the stage to receive her diploma. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
2021 Lake City Secondary School grads take centre stage at Williams Lake campus ceremonies

Ceremonies took place over two days, with COVID-19 restrictions in place for second year in a row

BGC Williams Lake Sprockids participants get ready to hit the trails on Fox Mountain May 27 in Williams Lake. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Sprockids mountain biking program at BGC Williams Lake provides positive, outdoor outlet for youth

Sprockids aims to give youth the opportunity to saddle up on mountain bikes and hit the trails

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

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

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read