The Victoria Harbour Ferry will continue to operate after almost being forced to dock until further notice due to an unsigned operating agreement.
The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA) posted on Twitter Monday evening that the ferry service will continue to operate throughout Victoria’s harbour and make stops along the Causeway Marina and at Fisherman’s Wharf.
The Ralmax Group of Companies acquired a majority ownership position of the Victoria Harbour Ferry and signed a lease agreement with the GVHA to ensure continued operation Monday morning.
“While Ralmax is perhaps best known for its commitment to employment lands and responsible industry, the working harbour includes tourism operations as well,” said Ian Maxwell, president and CEO of Ralmax. “The health pandemic hit tourism first and hit them hard. This sector is one of our region’s primary economic generators and it will recover providing we all work together to support local businesses.”
The decision came after discussions over the weekend with the GVHA and the ownership partners of the ferry company. Ralmax acquired 55 per cent of the ferry operation and negotiated a lease with the GVHA.
“From crisis to opportunity in a weekend. This is a new day and we are all in this together,” said Barry Hobbis, CEO and president of Victoria Harbour Ferries. Hobbis will remain an active partner and will continue to run the day-to-day operations of the company.
Included under the Ralmax Group umbrella is Ellice Recycling, Ralmax Contracting, Chew Contracting and the group is a partner in Salish Sea Industrial Services with the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations.
On Friday the GVHA released a statement about the ferry company refusing to sign an operating agreement that was required for insurance and legal purposes.