Victoria requests cruise ship visit cap while seeking limit on ship emissions

VICTORIA — A motion that could cap the number of cruise ships docking in Victoria's harbour has been approved by city councillors.

Mayor Lisa Helps and two councillors proposed the motion which 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 during 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.

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.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 18, 2019

© Copyright Tri-City News