Public comments invited for multi-million dollar Belleville terminal project

Public comments invited for multi-million dollar Belleville terminal project

The B.C. government is inviting the public to provide input on the multi-million redevelopment plan to replace the existing Belleville Terminal in Victoria’s Inner Harbour.

Announced last week, the project is estimated to be between $220 and $290 million. It would bring a new terminal building, retail and entertainment spaces, as well as a dedicated space for Indigenous artworks.

The terminal’s two tenants, Black Ball Ferry line and Clipper Vacations, would both share the new terminal.

“We have always said that we see the benefits of a combined facility for us and the Clipper,” said Black Ball Ferry Line CEO, Ryan Burles.

The terminal was in desperate need of an upgrade, especially for Canadian and American Immigration officers. The current Belleville Terminal doesn’t comply with the Canada-US Land, Rail, Marine, and Air Transport Preclearance Agreement (LRMA). Without this upgrade plan, U.S. Customs and Border Protection services would leave Vancouver Island.

“U.S. C.B.P. will either move the entire operation to the Victoria side so customs and immigration, or it will move completely to the Seattle side,” said Matthias Pahnke, chief executive officer of FRS Clipper.

Bruce Williams, chief executive officer with the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce, says a project like this is essential that makes it easier for tourists to hop on and off ferries would make travel more appealing.

“The Americans that are coming here for holidays, for travel, for business even. That’s a big part of the tourism industry,” said Williams.

The public is invited to provide an open comment until Oct. 20 on the province’s website

RELATED: B.C. moving ahead with Belleville Terminal redevelopment project

A board explaining the Belleville Terminal redevelopment project seen at an open house held by the provincial government on Sept. 27 at the Victoria Conference Centre. (CHEK News)

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