(Wikimedia Commons/Kam Abbott)

(Wikimedia Commons/Kam Abbott)

Major changes coming to BC Ferries

Passengers no longer allowed to remain on lower vehicle deck and complete smoking ban coming in 2018.

There are some major changes coming to BC Ferries.

Passengers will no longer be allowed to remain on the lower vehicle decks starting Oct. 11, and all vessels will be completely smoke free in January 2018.

Announced today, BC Ferries’ President and CEO Mark Collins says they decided to make all vessels smoke-free to “support the health and wellness of our customers and employees, as it helps control their exposure to second-hand smoke.”

BC Ferries had announced they were considering implementing a new smoking policy back in December of 2016, and had expected to make an announcement this year.

RELATED: BC Ferries policy changes expected in 2017

BC Ferries made the decision to provide a smoke-free environment for the travelling public and our employees on board our ships and at our terminals,” Collins continued, adding this is being done to provide people with advance notice of the policy change — which officially comes into effect January 22, 2018.

Visit the gift shop

The new safety practices will align with Transport Canada regulations that prohibit passengers from remaining in their vehicle on any closed deck when a vessel is underway.

“The regulations relate to safety, and the safety of our passengers and employees is a core value for BC Ferries,” said Captain Jamie Marshall, Vice President of Fleet Operations.

Customers will continue to be permitted to stay in vehicles on the upper (opened) car decks.

This new policy applies to the lower vehicle decks on the following vessels that generally operate on the Tsawwassen – Swartz Bay, Tsawwassen – Duke Point, Horseshoe Bay – Departure Bay, Horseshoe Bay – Langdale, Powell River – Comox, Tsawwassen – Southern Gulf Islands, Port Hardy – Prince Rupert and Prince Rupert – Haida Gwaii routes.

  • Spirit of British Columbia
  • Spirit of Vancouver Island
  • Coastal Renaissance
  • Coastal Inspiration
  • Coastal Celebration
  • Queen of Alberni
  • Queen of Coquitlam
  • Queen of Cowichan
  • Queen of New Westminster
  • Queen of Oak Bay
  • Queen of Surrey
  • Queen of Nanaimo
  • Salish Orca
  • Salish Eagle
  • Salish Raven
  • Northern Expedition
  • Northern Adventure
  • New vessel servicing Port Hardy – Bella Coola

Smoke free sailings

The smoke-free policy will apply to tobacco, marijuana and e-cigarettes, and is expected to reduce the number of customer complaints about smoking on BC Ferries’ vessels. Signs will go up on board and on shore as a reminder of the change in policy.

BC Ferries reminded passengers this summer that they would be looking out for impaired drivers and walk-ons, who risk being reported to police.

RELATED: Passengers should avoid alcohol and drugs

In a media release, BC Ferries noted that the province of B.C. amended smoking regulations that increased buffer zones around any doorway, intake or open window at any public space or workplace, to six meters. That means that all vessels will need to become smoke-free environments, due to physical space constraints.

“Smoking tobacco continues to be one of the single largest threats to the health of British Columbians and our visitors,” stated Island Health’s Dr. Dee Hoyano, Medical Health Officer in the release. “By going smoke-free in its terminals and on its vessels, BC Ferries is supporting healthier, cleaner and safer environments for everyone.”

BC Ferries has also launched an employee smoking cessation program, to coincide with the new policy.

RELATED: BC Ferries reports record-breaking traffic in first quarter

The company reported this month that driver and passenger traffic was the highest it’s ever been in over 20 years for the months of April, May and June.

editor@peninsulanewsreview.com

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

Just Posted

Parking fees at Thetis Lake Park will be going up at some point, but not without further discussion. Capital Regional District directors asked CRD staff to come back with alternatives, after hearing a proposal that would increase the $2.25 per day rate to $7 for 2021. (Google Maps)
Greater Victoria politicians ditch plan for $7 daily parking at Thetis Lake

Capital Regional District directors fear backlash from parks users

The Fraser Institute’s annual report card on B.C. elementary schools ranks schools across the province based on standardized tests. (Black Press Media file photo)
Fraser Institute delivers Greater Victoria elementary schools a mixed report card

The annual report card compares test scores of schools across the province

Higher sales of cannabis helped Canadian farmers come out in the green. (Black Press Media File)
Higher cannabis sales grew the income of Canadian farmers

Higher cannabis receipts added $1.7 billion to the revenue of farmers

Island Health has confirmed the first long term care facility outbreak in Greater Victoria at Veterans Memorial Lodge in Saanich. (Google Maps)
Island Health records first long-term care COVID outbreak in Greater Victoria

Veterans Memorial Lodge in Saanich confirms one positive staff member

(Dave Landine/Facebook)
VIDEO: Dashcam captures head-on crash between snowplow and truck on northern B.C. highway

Driver posted to social media that he walked away largely unscathed

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Top doctor urges Canadians to limit gatherings as ‘deeply concerning’ outbreaks continue

Canada’s active cases currently stand at 63,835, compared to 53,907 a week prior

A Canadian Pacific freight train travels around Morant’s Curve near Lake Louise, Alta., on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014. A study looking at 646 wildlife deaths along the railway tracks in Banff and Yoho national parks in Alberta and British Columbia has found that train speed is one of the biggest factors. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Study finds train speed a top factor in wildlife deaths in Banff, Yoho national parks

Research concludes effective mitigation could address train speed and ability of wildlife to see trains

A airport worker is pictured at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C. Wednesday, March 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canada extends COVID restrictions for non-U.S. travellers until Jan. 21 amid second wave

This ban is separate from the one restricting non-essential U.S. travel

Menno Place. (Google Street View image.)
B.C. care home looks to hire residents’ family members amid COVID-19-related staff shortage

Family would get paid as temporary workers, while having chance to see loved ones while wearing PPE

A man walks by a COVID-19 test pod at the Vancouver airport in this undated handout photo. A study has launched to investigate the safest and most efficient way to rapidly test for COVID-19 in people taking off from the Vancouver airport. The airport authority says the study that got underway Friday at WestJet’s domestic check-in area is the first of its kind in Canada. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Vancouver Airport Authority *MANDATORY CREDIT*
COVID-19 rapid test study launches at Vancouver airport for departing passengers

Airport authority says that a positive rapid test result does not constitute a medical diagnosis for COVID-19

A small crash in the water south of Courtenay Saturday afternoon. Two men had to be rescued, but reports indicate there were no serious injuries. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Small plane crash in Comox Valley waters Saturday afternoon

Two rescued from plane that had flipped in water; no serious injuries reported

A photo from 2017, of Nuchatlaht First Nation members outside court after filing a land title case in B.C. ( Submitted photo/Nuchatlaht First Nation).
Vancouver Island First Nation calls on B.C. to honour UNDRIP in historic title case

Nuchatlaht First Nation says Crown counsel continues to stall the case using the ‘distasteful’ argument that the Nation ‘abandoned’ their land

Most Read