Federal government commits $41.6M for Belleville terminal, construction to start later this year

Federal government commits $41.6M for Belleville terminal, construction to start later this year
B.C. Government handout image
The new building will be all-electric and be built including mass-timber components.

The federal government has announced that they are contributing $41.6 million to support the construction of a new larger international gateway for the Belleville terminal in downtown Victoria.

The announcement from Randy Boissonnault, the federal Minister of Tourism, was the final piece of the puzzle needed to start work on the project budgeted for $303.9 million.

Back in September of last year, the government requested input from the public regarding the proposed project back when it was projected to cost upwards of $209 million.

“The new Belleville terminal is going to incorporate mass timber supporting B.C. jobs in the industry, it’s going to feature renewable materials, it’s going to have an all-electric design that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and we are going to mitigate site contamination that is there from past industrial uses of this site,” said Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Rob Fleming at the press conference.

Upgrades to the terminal will bring it in compliance with the Canada-U.S. Land, Rail, Marine and Air Transport Preclearance Agreement, which means passengers leaving through the terminal will complete U.S. customs in Victoria, then disembark in the U.S. without needing to pass through security on the other side.

The building is also expected to meet LEED Gold standards and support the B.C. government’s CleanBC emission-reduction commitments.

Belleville Terminal is located on the territory of the Lekwungen peoples and the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations.

The province has said they have been working collaboratively with the Nations to identify opportunities to showcase the cultural and geographical significance of the location.

Chief Rob Thomas from the Esquimalt Nation says he is optimistic that tourists coming into the capital city will learn their Nation’s story.

“We are hoping to get on to the Coho to start the story when people get off the boat so hopefully the story will be fully told,” said Chief Thomas.

The new terminal is expected to support $257 million in visitor spending and 3,200 jobs a year over the next 20 years. Construction will start later this year and is expected to be completed in time for the 2028 tourism season.

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