23 min

Will the cruise ships ever come back to BC? - Guest Ian Robertson Conversations That Matter

    • News Commentary

Ep 356 - Will the cruise ships ever come back?


Guest: Ian Robertson


 


Where have all the cruise ships gone?


 


They were a long time coming.  It’s important to remember they didn’t come here by chance.


 


In the 1980s, the Honourable Grace McCarthy set her sights on building a sustainable tourism business and she knew the growing Alaska cruise ship industry was a perfect fit. She worked with the Feds and built Canada Place in Vancouver, not just as a convention centre but also as a world class cruise ship terminal that would bring millions of passengers and their money to Vancouver.


 


In the 1990s, the focus expanded to include rebuilding Ballantyne Pier and to include Victoria. And it worked brilliantly. Central to the success of the campaign is a provision in the Jones Act called the Passenger Vehicle Services Act, which requires ships carrying passengers to stop at a foreign port between two US ports.


 


This provision meant Vancouver and Victoria were perfectly located in the Alaska cruise ship industry. Ships could travel from Alaska to British Columbia and back again, or Alaska, BC and Seattle and back again. In 2018, “Cruising in Alaska” reported “about 3.8 million port-of-call cruise passenger visits, or approximately 61%, of all port-of-call cruise visits in the United States,” making Alaska the number one cruise destination.


 


Over the last three and a half decades, Canadian governments appear to have taken the industry for granted, so much so that when Alaska reached out to Premier Horgan and Prime Minister Trudeau to find a way around the Canadian government's COVID closed-border rules, neither leader even returned the call or email. 


 


Rather than sit by and do nothing, Senator Mike Lee of Utah introduced three bills (that weren’t approved) to repeal the PVSA, saying it is blatantly “Canada First” and it needs to go. Then Alaskan Senator Lisa Murkowski introduced a bill that was passed and now allows cruise ships to bypass Canada while our border remains closed.


 


Stuart McNish invited Ian Robertson, the CEO at the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority, to have a Conversation That Matters about why taking the cruise ship industry for granted is a bad idea.


 


Please become a Patreon subscriber and support the production of this program, with a $1 pledge https://goo.gl/ypXyDs

Ep 356 - Will the cruise ships ever come back?


Guest: Ian Robertson


 


Where have all the cruise ships gone?


 


They were a long time coming.  It’s important to remember they didn’t come here by chance.


 


In the 1980s, the Honourable Grace McCarthy set her sights on building a sustainable tourism business and she knew the growing Alaska cruise ship industry was a perfect fit. She worked with the Feds and built Canada Place in Vancouver, not just as a convention centre but also as a world class cruise ship terminal that would bring millions of passengers and their money to Vancouver.


 


In the 1990s, the focus expanded to include rebuilding Ballantyne Pier and to include Victoria. And it worked brilliantly. Central to the success of the campaign is a provision in the Jones Act called the Passenger Vehicle Services Act, which requires ships carrying passengers to stop at a foreign port between two US ports.


 


This provision meant Vancouver and Victoria were perfectly located in the Alaska cruise ship industry. Ships could travel from Alaska to British Columbia and back again, or Alaska, BC and Seattle and back again. In 2018, “Cruising in Alaska” reported “about 3.8 million port-of-call cruise passenger visits, or approximately 61%, of all port-of-call cruise visits in the United States,” making Alaska the number one cruise destination.


 


Over the last three and a half decades, Canadian governments appear to have taken the industry for granted, so much so that when Alaska reached out to Premier Horgan and Prime Minister Trudeau to find a way around the Canadian government's COVID closed-border rules, neither leader even returned the call or email. 


 


Rather than sit by and do nothing, Senator Mike Lee of Utah introduced three bills (that weren’t approved) to repeal the PVSA, saying it is blatantly “Canada First” and it needs to go. Then Alaskan Senator Lisa Murkowski introduced a bill that was passed and now allows cruise ships to bypass Canada while our border remains closed.


 


Stuart McNish invited Ian Robertson, the CEO at the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority, to have a Conversation That Matters about why taking the cruise ship industry for granted is a bad idea.


 


Please become a Patreon subscriber and support the production of this program, with a $1 pledge https://goo.gl/ypXyDs

23 min