Victoria city council asking for ban on cruise ship visits to city amid coronavirus pandemic

Victoria city council has passed a resolution on Thursday calling on the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority and Transport Canada to suspend cruise ship visits to the Port of Victoria until the risk of coronavirus transmission has subsided.

Coun. Ben Isitt submitted the resolution noting that “Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has advised that cruise ship visits to the Port of Victoria should be postponed to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19.”

The resolution calls on the federal government, which operates the Port of Victoria, to “suspend authorization of international cruise ship visits to the Port of Victoria.”

“Dr Bonnie Henry has given valuable advice,“ Isitt said in support of the ban.

The city of Victoria does not have the authority to ban cruise ships. The federal government has the authority to restrict cruise ship travel.

“It doesn’t speak to the spirit of partnership with greater Victoria’s Harbour Authority and Destination Greater Victoria,“ Victoria mayor Lisa Helps said.

“Based on what Dr. Henry has asked is a reasonable thing to do.”

In a release, Isitt details a push to compensate workers and businesses that will be hit hard by a potential closure of the cruise ship industry.

The calls come as Princess Cruises announced it would suspend voyages of all its 18 ships for two months.

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