Trudeau again broaches refunds debate; Garneau extends cruise ship ban

OTTAWA — Minister of Transport Marc Garneau has extended the ban on cruise ships operating in Canadian waters until at least Oct. 31.

The updated measures were announced this morning.

Cruise ships with overnight accommodations allowed to carry more than 100 persons are prohibited from operating in Canadian waters until October 31, 2020.

The move extends an earlier ban put in place in March 2020, in the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic in North America.

Also announced today, as of July 1, 2020, all other passenger vessels must follow provincial, territorial, local and regional health authority requirements for timelines and processes to resume operations. There are other conditions for passengers vessels as well.

“Our government is committed to protecting Canadians, particularly during these challenging times,” said Garneau.

“It is for that reason I am announcing updated measures for cruise ships and other passenger vessels in Canada, which includes prohibiting larger cruise ships from operating in Canadian waters until October 31, 2020.”

Garneau says the federal government continues to work with other levels of government, transportation industry stakeholders, and Indigenous peoples to re-examine measures and to ensure Canada’s transportation system remains safe and secure during this time. “We are all in this together,” he said.


Meanwhile a reporter at this morning’s briefing asked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau if the federal government sees airline tickets “as a luxury product that don’t deserve refunds”.

Trudeau said he understands that Canadians save their hard-earned money for airline tickets and other travel costs.

Trudeau added that the federal government’s top priority amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis has been Canadians, their health and wellbeing. He reiterated earlier messages, made last week, that the federal government is working with Canadians and Canada’s airlines to find the right way for Canadians to be helped.

He said he knows that while Canadians want money back in their pockets, they also “want to have an airline industry” in this country when this is all over.

Trudeau says the federal government is looking for “a fair way through this” and added: “We are looking at what other airlines in other countries are doing. We’ll have more to say on the issue in the coming weeks.”

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