Booze on BC Ferries delayed

Booze on BC Ferries delayed
WatchStarting this month, some BC Ferries passengers were expecting to be able to enjoy a beer or glass of wine while on board. But the prohibition on the high seas may not be ending any time soon. Kori Sidaway tells us why.

This past April, BC Ferries announced it would be testing out booze on some ferries along the Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay route this summer.

“I mean why not have libations while you go through the channel right?” said Noel Bermudez, a passenger.

But so far, the glasses are empty.

“There’s always red tape and bureaucracy,” said ferry-goer Lukas.

And the BC Ferry and Marine Workers Union says passengers will likely go thirsty for the summer.

“The BC Liquor Regulation Branch is withholding the application from BC Ferries because they believe there’s broader public interest involved,” said Graeme Johnston, provincial President of the

But the union thinks the licensing delay is a good thing because more consultations are needed.

“I think that the government is taking the steps to make sure this is done right,” said Johnston.

But some ferry goers don’t understand the hold up.

“I mean I can have a beer at Ikea, why can’t I have a beer on the ferries?” asked one ferry rider who wanted to remain anonymous.

The Ministry of Attorney General, which oversees the province’s liquor licensing, said they can’t comment on individual applications in progress, but that “no specific public policy decisions have been made regarding liquor service on main ferry route.”

As for a timeline for booze on board? It’s unclear, as the regulation board continues to consult stakeholders.

“Good things come to those who wait I guess!” said Bermudez

Alcohol is available on one BC Ferries vessel – the sailing between Port Hardy and Port Rupert.

Kori SidawayKori Sidaway

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