Saanich council was unanimous in approving a letter going to the prime minister and other federal ministers asking for the Government of Canada to reopen Greater Victoria’s marine borders for 2022.
Mayor Fred Haynes said the cruise ship industry is critically valuable to economic prosperity in the region, advocating for the removal of the border closure by this fall so the industry can prepare to include Greater Victoria in its planned stops for next summer.
“The cruise industry books in the fall for the following year, so we need to give a really clear signal now that Victoria harbour is open for the cruise business,” said Haynes.
The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority estimates the industry generates more than $130 million in local spending annually and provides over 800 jobs. Revenue from cruises also allows the harbour authority to operate such community amenities as the breakwater, lower causeway, Fisherman’s Wharf and Ship Point – areas that residents from across the region frequent year-round.
Council expressed hope the federal government would allow for future cruise ship stops as part of the pending announcement of Canada’s reopening plan.
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