Staffing shortage leads to modified BC Ferries’ schedule for Gabriola-Nanaimo route

Staffing shortage leads to modified BC Ferries' schedule for Gabriola-Nanaimo route
BC Ferries
BC Ferries says a staffing issue has forced the cancellation of the MV Quinsam on select sailings, until further notice.

BC Ferries says a staffing issue has led to a modified schedule for the MV Quinsam, which services Gabriola Island and Nanaimo Harbour, until further notice.

The vessel, which can carry 63 vehicles on board, will not be running on the first two morning sailings from both locations, and the last four evening sailings.

BC Ferries says a 10-passenger taxi will be available for anyone needing to travel on the cancelled sailings.

A service notice from BC Ferries on the modified schedule says, “we require a specific number of crew on board the vessel to ensure the safety of our passengers in the unlikely event of an emergency and to comply with Transport Canada regulations.”

In a statement to CHEK News earlier this week, BC Ferries implied the shortages were caused by its new COVID-19 vaccination policy, which requires all staff on board vessels to have their first dose by Nov. 15 and their second dose by Jan. 24, 2022.

“BC Ferries is doing its utmost to minimize further disruption to service and thanks customers for their patience as the company works through the short-term impact of its new vaccination policy,” it said.

“The policy supports the Federal and Provincial Health Officers’ position that vaccination is an effective tool to reduce the risk of COVID-19 and is committed to ensuring all employees are vaccinated to protect the safety of everyone using the ferry system.”

The company said it was working closely with the ferry workers’ union to reach out to employees who have yet to report their vaccination status “to ensure they understand the requirements and encourage them to submit their attestations and comply as soon as possible.”

The modified schedule for Gabriola-Nanaimo is as follows:

Departing Descanso Bay (Gabriola Island) Departing Nanaimo Harbour
5:15 am – Water Taxi 5:45 am – Water Taxi
6:20 am – Water Taxi 6:50 am – Water Taxi
7:35 am – MV Quinsam 8:10 am – MV Quinsam
8:50 am – MV Quinsam 9:25 am – MV Quinsam
10:10 am – MV Quinsam 10:45 am – MV Quinsam
11:25 am – MV Quinsam 12:00 pm – MV Quinsam
12:45 am – MV Quinsam 1:20 pm – MV Quinsam
2:00 pm – MV Quinsam 2:35 pm – MV Quinsam
3:20 pm – MV Quinsam 4:00 pm – MV Quinsam
4:35 pm – MV Quinsam 5:15 pm – MV Quinsam
5:50 pm – MV Quinsam 6:25 pm – MV Quinsam
7:00 pm – Water Taxi 7:35 pm – Water Taxi
8:40 pm – Water Taxi 9:10 pm – Water Taxi
9:40 pm – Water Taxi 10:05 pm – Water Taxi
10:35 pm – Water Taxi 11:00 pm – Water Taxi

BC Ferries says those taking the water taxi should visit the Nanaimo Harbour ticket booth to secure a boarding pass.


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