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From the Crew  

To our valued customers, community members and friends,  

We wish to let you know that, due to staffing issues, you should be prepared for unexpected sailing cancellations on the Kootenay Lake ferries over the coming weeks.  

We are at a breaking point. Crews have been doing excessive overtime for the last five years to enable the ferries to sail. In fact, overtime, retirees, and out-of-town temporary hires have been required to meet service levels on Kootenay Lake each day since June 2019.  

This is not sustainable and has to stop. We need a fair contract that fixes the long-standing operational issues and ensures the community has qualified crews to keep the ferries sailing.  

As of September 16, 2019, our members have chosen to refrain from working overtime to highlight the staffing and training issues that have led us to this sustainability crisis. This will not affect the essential service order determined by the Labour Relations Board.  

We don't want to shut down the ferries. As fellow residents of this region, we depend on them like you do. We are trying to preserve the service for all of us.  

Job action is our only leverage to save the service and bring the employer back to the bargaining table. But it will only be successful if we have your support.  

Two ways to help Save our Service:  

Click here to send an email to our employers telling them to treat their workers with dignity and respect.  

Contact your MLA and tell them that inland ferries need additional resources to guarantee a sustainable system.  

We’re the people who work for you every day, whether it’s raining, snowing or scorching heat. We’ve gotten you where you need to be for 70 years and counting. We’re proud of our work and we even prouder to live in the communities we serve.  

Help us keep our communities connected with a strong inland ferry service. We can’t do it alone.  


Your friends,  

Jason W, Kootenay Lake Ferry; James D, Arrow Lakes Ferry; Paul W, Francois Lakes Ferry  

Media inquiries: Jocelyn Wagner, BCGEU Communications Officer, 778-988-4849