B.C. Ferries has actually won a court injunction to keep protesters from disrupting sailings this Household Day weekend and beyond.

The order provided by B.C. Supreme Court on Friday bars people from blocking access to shuttle terminals by land or water. No one is enabled to obstruct or disrupt the “proper functioning” of B.C. Ferries, Justice Brian MacKenzie bought.

That consists of obstructing access to the terminals, hindering or covering closed-circuit television cams on or near the ferries, or physically obstructing B.C. Ferries employees or members of the public from entering terminals and associated buildings, according to the order.

RCMP are licensed to jail and eliminate anyone contravening the order.

Social-media posts suggested demonstrations might go back to Swartz Bay terminal on Saturday, B.C. Ferries stated in its notification of application. The company “also has issues for its other terminals due to posts on social networks calling for protesters to close down the B.C. federal government,” states the notification.

On Jan. 20, protesters supporting Wet’ suwet’ en chiefs who oppose an LNG pipeline in northern B.C. established a blockade on the highway leading to Swartz Bay, preventing automobiles from reaching the terminal.

Also, protesters in 4 kayaks were in the water in or near the terminal to block vessels from getting here and leaving, B.C. Ferries said.

As an outcome of the January demonstration, one ferryboat cruising was postponed by 70 minutes and another was cancelled, the application said.

The protest also impacted sailings from Salt Spring Island and other Gulf Islands to Swartz Bay, and led to “significant” traffic backups on Highway 17, inconveniencing numerous visitors, who underwent prolonged hold-ups, the business stated.

Protesters likewise staged a demonstration at Alert Bay near the ferry terminal on Feb. 9.

Because Family Day weekend is generally hectic, attracting high volumes of traffic, blockades at ferryboat terminals would trigger “major and substantial disruption to travelling members of the public,” B.C. Ferries said.

The corporation noted in its notification of application that ferryboats from the Swartz Bay this weekend are anticipated to include about 33 vital medical transfers for clients who lack the required medical center in their communities– primarily from the Southern Gulf Islands, where medical facilities are limited.

The January ferryboat disturbance expense B.C. Ferries $50,000 to $70,000, the company said in its notice, adding comparable losses are most likely if blockades are set up once again.

B.C. Ferries is producing demonstration zones at each of its terminals that would permit protesters to be extremely noticeable and reveal their views. Those zones would not obstruct access to terminals or restrain traffic, the business stated.

B.C. Ferries states it has included more than 20 additional cruisings in between Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen for the Family Day weekend.


© Copyright Times Colonist

Learn More