Council asks to limit cruise ship visits to Victoria harbour

Mayor says motion is not meant to curtail current visits or limit local cruise industry expansion

The Norwegian Bliss en route from Alaska to Seattle makes its way towards Ogden Point in Victoria, B.C., on Friday June 1, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

City councillors have approved a measure that could cap the number of cruise ships docking in Victoria’s harbour.

Mayor Lisa Helps and two councillors proposed the motion that makes four recommendations, including a request to halt any increase in ship visits until the city is satisfied with cruise industry efforts to address emissions and waste issues.

Speaking on behalf of the motion at Thursday’s council meeting, Helps said it is not meant to curtail current ship visits or limit local cruise industry expansion until shore power is available so ships won’t have to idle while docked.

Instead, she says the motion aims to determine the city’s jurisdiction to regulate cruise ship waste and to work more aggressively with the industry to install shore power hook ups, which would cut emissions from visiting vessels.

READ MORE: Cruise ships leading culprits in rising greenhouse gas emissions at Ogden Point, report says

Greater Victoria Harbour Authority CEO Ian Robertson has said local businesses are concerned the motion could make Victoria a less appealing port for cruise ships.

Council is expected to ratify the motion on Oct. 24 and Helps says Robertson will update them on a harbour authority-commissioned report she says supports the installation of shore power connections while examining the environmental impact of cruise ship operations.

The Canadian Press

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