For the second weekend in a row, B.C. Ferries cancelled sailings from Vancouver and Victoria due to staffing shortages. Cancellations to sailings may continue throughout the summer if these staffing shortages persist, according to B.C. Ferries.
The corporation cancelled two sailings on Friday, June 17th and another four on Sunday, June 19th. The cancelled trips were exiting from Tsawwassen in Vancouver and Swartz Bay in Victoria. Sailings were also cancelled from the same two stops on Friday and Sunday of the previous weekend.
“We have had a few occasions recently where we have had to cancel some of our service because we knew didn’t have the required crew to operate the vessel,” says Deborah Marshall, a spokesperson for B.C. Ferries.
She says there’s a chance disruptions to service will continue. “There may be times, sporadically, where we do have to cancel service because we’re not able to fill all the required positions on board,” she says.
Marshall says the company, which performs close to 475 sailings along the coast of British Columbia per day, is actively recruiting new staff to resolve the issue. B.C. Ferries has hired 860 new staff members in recent months, but the company is still having difficulties filling some positions. “Coming out of a pandemic, we found that it is quite a challenging job market. It’s difficult to attract new people,” she explained.
Marshall says some crucial ship-work positions, like chief engineers and captains, are harder to recruit as they require technical training and experience.