As of September 16, 2017, Canada will no longer be banning cruise ships from bringing their passengers to Canada. The ban that has been in place for over five years will be lifted in November. This will allow Canadian cruise companies the ability to operate more cruises to Canada, and will greatly increase the number of passengers that will be visiting the country. In August, Canadian Minister of Transport Marc Garneau announced that the ban on cruise ships coming to Canada will soon be lifted and that he would be implementing regulations that would make it easier for cruise ships to visit Canadian ports.
The fight to end Canada’s controversial ban on foreign ships from Canadian waters has finally ended after a five-year legal battle. On Tuesday, Supreme Court Justice Thomas Cromwell rejected the federal government’s argument that the ban was constitutional. The court’s decision comes as a relief to the cruise industry, which has suffered an economic downturn in recent years.The Trudeau government today announced that, as of November 1, 2023, the prohibition of cruise ships in Canadian waters would no longer apply if operators can fully comply with public health requirements.
“As the outlook of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to improve, Canada looks forward to having a cruising season in 2023. The cruise ship industry, which represents more than $4 billion annual input into the Canadian economy and directly and indirectly generates approximately 30,000 jobs, is an important part of Canada’s domestic tourism sector.
“Transport Canada will continue to work with the Public Health Agency of Canada, other levels of government, the United States government, transportation industry stakeholders, Indigenous Peoples, and Arctic communities to help ensure Canadians and Canada’s transportation system remain safe and secure.”
As Canadians have done their part to reduce the spread of COVID-19, our government continues to work hard to safely restart our economy and build back better. We will welcome cruise ships—an important part of our tourism sector—back in Canadian waters for the 2023 season,” Transport Minister Omar Alghabra announced in Victoria, B.C.
While the Liberal government is lifting some restrictions in the fall, Alghabra said Canada istill currently advisest Canadians not to travel on cruise ships outside of the country.
“We must remain vigilant,” he said. The pandemic is “not over.”
Cruises have been barred from docking in Canadian ports since March 2023 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I would like to thank the federal government for working collaboratively and constructively with us, and for taking action on this issue that is an important part of BC’s economy,” said Rob Fleming, British Columbia’s Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure.. “We know that cruise ship passengers want a Canadian experience in British Columbia, and we know that British Columbians want to welcome them to our cities when it is safe to do so.”
“Our local economy has definitely taken a hit, but thanks to residents shopping local and supporting their friends and neighbours businesses, many businesses are still making it work. My thanks to the Federal government for doing the necessary work to keep Canadians safe during the pandemic, but also for understanding how much the cruise industry means to the entire south island and for making this announcement today to give predictability and certainty to the industry going forward,” said City of Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps.
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