Congress Asks Canada for ‘Cruising Compromise’

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has sent a letter to the Canadian Ambassador to the United States, Kirsten Hillman, asking for a reviewal of the one-year extension of the cruise ban in Canada.

According to the Committee, the extension potentially causes “significant consequences” for Americans and Canadians.

“We are writing to express our concern regarding the potential impact on local businesses and communities resulting from Transport Canada’s February 4, 2021, announcement of an Interim Order to prohibit passenger vessels carrying more than 100 people from operating in Canadian waters until February 28, 2022,” reads the letter signed by congressmen Peter DeFazio, Sam Graves, Salud Carbajal, Bob Gibbs and Don Young.

“By closing Canadian ports to passenger vessels for another year, the livelihoods of tens of thousands of Americans and Canadians are at risk from more job losses and further economic devastation,” the congressmen added.

According to them, Canada plays an “integral role” in supporting U.S. cruising in Alaska, Washington State, the Great Lakes and New England. Pre-pandemic, the cruise industry generated $2.85 billion in direct economic spending in these U.S. regions combined, including 53,000 jobs and $3.1 billion in wages, the congressmen wrote.

“The pre-pandemic economic impact of cruise-related travel in Canada is also significant, with the cruise industry generating nearly C$ 2 billion in direct economic spending, along with 30,000 Canadian jobs and more than C$ 1.4 billion in wages and salaries,” they added in the letter.

The congressmen suggested permitting within the next issued Interim Order cruise ships stop at Canadian ports without disembarking passengers, meeting the requirements of U.S. maritime law, as a solution.

“It is our hope that this solution would both address the important health concerns of Canadian authorities and allow cruises to resume with the approval of U.S. Government authorities when it is deemed safe to do so,” the congressmen wrote in the letter.

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