BC Ferries are seen leaving Horseshoe Bay near West Vancouver, B.C. Monday, March 16, 2020. The Canadian Ferry Association says BC Ferries is bleeding cash, with losses of up to $1.5 million per day as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to take a toll on ridership. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

BC Ferries losing up to $1.5 million each day as pandemic tanks ridership

The company does not qualify for the wage subsidy

The Canadian Ferry Association says BC Ferries is bleeding cash, with losses of up to $1.5 million per day as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to take a toll on ridership.

Association CEO Serge Buy says BC Ferries, which makes up more than one-third of the sector’s revenues across the country, has seen a “staggering” 80 per cent decline in traffic over the past three months, leading to the suspension of some routes.

BC Ferries is a private company run by a not-for-profit corporation, but is recognized as provincially owned under federal tax law.

That designation excludes it from Ottawa’s wage subsidy program, prompting the association to ask a House finance committee hearing Tuesday to recommend that BC Ferries be made eligible for support.

Buy says he has made the request repeatedly to federal ministers but received no response.

READ MORE: Ferry sailings scheduled once again at Nanaimo’s Departure Bay terminal

He also says several ferry operators along the Ottawa River in Quebec and Ontario remain ineligible for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy because they had no revenue in March, April and May of 2019 — a condition of signing on to the program — due to flooding that prevented operations until June.

Buy says employees and communities should not be victimized by a program they would qualify for ”if only one disaster hit” instead of two.

Buy’s comments came at a committee hearing where other representatives from the transportation industry testified to the plight of regional airlines, public transit and charter bus companies.

READ MORE: BC Ferries passengers asked to avoid all non-essential travel amid pandemic

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

bc ferryeconomy

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sumas First Nation pilots eight-inch gill-net fishery in Sumas/Vedder River

Project in Abbotsford renews fishing practice and data gathering of chinook salmon

Abbotsford woman starts petition to have B.C. government help with IVF costs

Jennifer Kuiken says cost of in vitro fertilization is too high for most people

Chilliwack home built in 1910 will be saved from demolition

The 110-year-old house on Hope River Road is being relocated to nearby Riverside Drive

Police watchdog investigating after Abbotsford man seriously injured during arrest

Abbotsford police used ‘less lethal firearm’ and dog in arrest of man believed to have gun

Abbotsford woman releases book of poetry

Saniya Kaushal’s ‘you are not ugly’ addresses hurtful words and behaviours

21 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in B.C. as virus ‘silently circulates’ in broader community

Health officials urge British Columbians to enjoy summer safely as surge continues

Tough time for tree fruits as some B.C. farm products soar

Province reports record 2019 sales, largely due to cannabis

‘Let’s all do a self-check’: Okanagan mayor reacts to racist vandalism targeting local family

Home of Indo-Canadian family in Summerland was targeted on evening of July 13

Province agrees to multimillion-dollar payout for alleged victims of Kelowna social worker

Robert Riley Saunders is accused of misappropriating funds of children — often Indigenous — in his care

B.C. businessman David Sidoo gets 3 months behind bars for college admissions scam

Sidoo was sentenced for hiring someone take the SATs in place of his two sons

PHOTOS: Inside a newly-listed $22M mega-mansion on ALR land in B.C.

The large home, located on ALR land, is one of the last new mansions to legally be built on ALR land

COVID-19 gives B.C. First Nation rare chance to examine tourism’s impact on grizzly bears

With 40 infrared cameras deployed in Kitasoo-Xai’Xais territory, research will help develop tourism plan with least impact on bears

RCMP searching for culprit behind needle-filled lemons left on Coquitlam-area trails

The two lemons found were thrown away leaving police with little evidence

NDP wants Lower Mainland MLA removed from BC Liberal caucus for alleged homophobia

BC Liberal leader, some MLAs apologize for Christian magazine ads but Laurie Throness doubles down

Most Read