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

Six additional COVID-19 cases overnight in Interior Health region

The total number of cases within the region is now at 486

Grants being accepted for Fish & Wildlife Compensation Program

The priority this year is the North Columbia Region

WATCH: Former Golden youth puts film skills to the COVID test

Telus Storyhive and Reel Youth launch videos created during quarantine

Record-breaking 165 new COVID-19 cases diagnosed in B.C. in 24-hour period

Fifty-seven people are in hospital battling the novel coronavirus

Interior Health reports four new cases of COVID-19

First hospitalization since mid-August announced

Rail traffic starts moving after 60-car derailment near Hope

Clean up effort ongoing after 60 cars carrying potash crashed along a rail bridge

Spoon-wielding man draws police presence in Penticton

Police say no one was harmed during the incident

March to protect old growth, stop industrial logging coming to B.C. Legislature

Organizers say they want to give frontline communities a bigger say in nearby logging

B.C. releases details of $1.5B economic recovery plan, $660M in business tax incentives

Economic plan includes support for employers, as well as training for workers

‘Not criminally responsible’ hearing slated for man convicted of Abbotsford school stabbing

Gabriel Klein was found guilty in March of killing Letisha Reimer, 13, in 2016

Most Read