North Island-Powell River MP Rachel Blaney has sent another letter to federal Minister of Transportation Marc Garneau about Transport Canada’s order prohibiting passengers from remaining in their vehicles during sailings if parked on a closed deck. Photo contributed

North Island-Powell River MP Rachel Blaney has sent another letter to federal Minister of Transportation Marc Garneau about Transport Canada’s order prohibiting passengers from remaining in their vehicles during sailings if parked on a closed deck. Photo contributed

MP questions prohibitiferry passengers from remaining in cars in light of high COVID numbers

Transport Canada’s review of over 1,000 reports of passengers disobeying the order prohibiting ferry passengers from remaining in their cars has irked North Island-Powell River MP Rachel Blaney.

Blaney has sent another letter to federal Minister of Transportation Marc Garneau about Transport Canada’s order prohibiting passengers from remaining in their vehicles during sailings if parked on a closed deck.

In the letter, Blaney questions the value and logic of using ministry resources to process and potentially punish “people who are simply doing their best to follow public health orders and keep their contact with others to a minimum.”

During the first wave of the pandemic, Transport Canada provided an exemption to allow passengers to remain in their vehicles throughout the sailing in order to avoid the often busy stairwells, elevators and passenger decks of BC Ferries vessels. However, as Blaney noted, the federal department has refused to extend or reapply the exemption during the second wave, despite B.C. experiencing much higher case counts and infection rates than there were in the spring.

“How bad does the exposure risk have to get before you reinstate the exemption so that people, goods and services can continue to reach our coastal communities while limiting the spread of COVID-19?” Blaney says.

RELATED: Transport Canada probes 1,000+ reports of passengers refusing to leave vehicles on BC Ferries

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