Beginning the weekend of November 6, 2020, the BC RCMP West Coast Marine Services will be on board some BC Ferries vessels to support Transport Canada and BC Ferries in educating passengers on safety rules and enforcing the Canada Shipping Act, 2001.
BC Ferries and Transport Canada have requested support from RCMP to conduct joint ‘on board’ ferry walkabouts and to enforce the regulation that requires ferry passengers to exit their vehicles on enclosed vehicle decks and stay in designated passenger areas while the ferry is operating. This rule does not apply to open (including partially enclosed) vehicle decks where passengers can remain in their vehicles on ferries.
The RCMP will assist BC Ferries from an educational and support capacity doing checks of the vehicle decks to ensure that passengers are following the regulations.
In March, passengers were allowed to remain in their vehicles on enclosed vehicle decks as the health risks associated to COVID-19 were unknown. Since then, we have learned more on how to protect ourselves and travel safely. However, remaining in a vehicle on an enclosed vehicle deck while a ferry is operating is not safe for passengers and has been banned internationally.
The RCMP, BC Ferries, and Transport Canada will be checking that passengers are following the safety regulations. If necessary, Transport Canada can issue an administrative monetary penalty to non-compliant passengers.
We are committed to public safety and security and want to support the Provincial and Federal governments’ response to the pandemic in every capacity. Enforcement and education will be conducted in partnership with BC Ferries, to ensure that Transport Canada’s protocols around Covid-19 are met. said Chief Superintendent Dave Attfield of the RCMP.
We are confident that education and awareness will help boost compliance rates on BC Ferries around marine safety measures.
The BC RCMP have existing protocols and procedures that deal with emergency situations, and that includes pandemics.
Corporal Chris Manseau
Division Media Relations Officer
BC RCMP Communication Services