Foot passengers have been required to remain outside on the deck of the Kootenay Lake Ferries since Covid-19 struck. This was not such a huge issue until the temperatures started to drop and the reality of remaining in the wind and weather for the whole crossing sunk in. Now, Western Pacific Marine has informed us that this will not be changing over the coming months, although staff hope to find an agreeable arrangement to accommodate these foot passengers. See the note below for more info from Marine Manager Bryan Coe:

Good Morning Everyone,
Just a very brief update in regard to our Kootenay Lake Ferries Covid-19 situation.

I have been informed that the protocols in place with the lounge and washroom closures will remain in place until February 1st. This has been extended by Transport Canada and the Ministry has directed me to comply.

I am attempting to acquire some outdoor, electric, bulkhead mounted heaters and canvas or fabric tarps to provide some degree of comfort out of the wind and weather in the area currently coned off under the rescue boat deck. I am also looking for suitable seating arrangements that will allow for social distance separation within this area.
These actions are less than perfect however it is an attempt to work within the confines created for me.


Captain Bryan Coe

4 Responses

  1. We have seven teenagers who travel daily 5 days a week on the 7;10 ferry and 4:30 pm. Both of these times are very cold. I think the washroom and the sitting rooms, at least one, need to be open for these youth.

    For elders, this is an issue not to have access to the washroom on the ferry. Please make sure that the access to the washrooms in each of the ferry areas is clear of ice and with salt so people are not falling, and honestly, closing washrooms is a human rights issue for elders and people who are sick and on the ferry.

    1. The daily travelling students have been given some interior space for the crossing. But they are the only ones and I believe it’s because they travel every weekday on the same predictable runs (and they are minors).

  2. wow, that is such an absurd and frustrating decision. People need to keep warm, dry and comfortable on the crossing. The idea of creating a new, covered, heated space for foot passengers, when a comfortable, insulated space, with washrooms already exists – is completely ridiculous. I realize that this is not Bryan Coe’s decision – probably that of someone sitting at a desk somewhere in a Department of Transportation office (who may have never ridden our ferry in the winter. I think East Shore residents should take this opportunity to make their voices heard.

    Ingrid, please let me know of an appropriate email address (if you have one) so that I can write an email, letting someone know of my aggravation.

    Will Chapman – Gray Creek

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