The Campbell River cruise ship terminal, near Discovery Harbour, stands empty and locked. (Photo by Binny Paul/ Campbell River Mirror )

Campbell River’s defunct cruise ship terminal to undergo evaluation for future plans

With no cruise ship coming through, the $16million terminal has been a white elephant for over 13 years

The defunct multi-million dollar cruise ship terminal at Campbell River will undergo an assessment to evaluate its condition and possible alternate uses.

Wei Wai Kum First Nation and the City of Campbell River issued a tender seeking consultants to evaluate the structural conditions of the facility, deputy city manager Ron Neufeld confirmed.

Neufeld also said that proposals have been coming in and that they anticipate a consultant to begin work this summer.

The terminal is an asset of the Wei Wai Kum First Nation and Chief Chris Roberts told the Mirror that the evaluation is a “critical step” to moving forward.

“There’s expensive infrastructure in the water and we want to see how that can be utilized. If we cannot find a way, then there’s no sense in paying all that water lot lease and we hopefully can break even and decommission all the metal that is sitting in the ocean,” said Roberts.

He also said that all ideas of alternate uses for the terminal are at a preliminary stage of discussion.

However the band is contemplating possible tourist draws that can be built upon from a First Nation’s tourism perspective, said Roberts.

The cruise ship terminal has been a black eye for the Nation, he added.

“A lot of factors were out of our control and things didn’t go as planned,” said Roberts about the failure of the facility since it opened in 2007.

The terminal has been a white elephant for the Wei Wai Kum band ever since.

With high hopes of attracting more than $11 million worth of business from international cruise liners, which were “projected” to come in during summer, the taxpayer-funded terminal was built at a cost of $16 million. This included $9.45 million from the federal government, $4 million from the province, $2.3 million from the City of Campbell River and $750,000 from the Wei Wai Kum First Nation.

READ MORE: Campbell River’s ship has not come in

However, owing to the economic recession that hit North America in 2008, cruise ship companies opted for tried and tested routes and older terminals like Vancouver and Victoria rather than explore newer itineraries like Campbell River.

After years of no ships, the band realized the facility was bleeding money, an estimated $20,000 annually for the yearly water lot lease for the 300-metre-long terminal.

In addition to the lease, there were also taxes that needed to be paid, Roberts said.

While the city was supportive and helped ease the burden by subsidizing the annual tax on the terminal for a while, Roberts said that,“they’re also at a point where they can’t do that anymore since there is no economic benefit for the municipality.”

Cruise ShipsTransportation

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘Made in the Cowichan Valley’ coming to a wine bottle near you

Buyers across the province will soon be able to pick up a… Continue reading

Minivan driver’s speed a factor in fatal 2018 Malahat crash

Driver was travelling at 101 km/h in a construction zone

Business notes: Downtown Duncan open-air food court opens

What’s happening in Cowichan’s business community

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

VIDEO: Vancouver Island cat missing 18 months reunited with family

Blue the cat found at Victoria museum 17 kilometres from home

VIDEO: Alberta man rescues baby eagle believed to be drowning in East Kootenay lake

Brett Bacon was boating on a lake in Windermere when he spotted the baby eagle struggling in the water

Vancouver Island business ad unintentionally features OK gesture linked to white supremacy

Innocuous ‘OK’ gesture in cleaning franchise advertisement gets flak on social media for ‘supposedly’ promoting white supremacy

Comox Valley RCMP looking for missing woman

Ami Guthrie was last seen in Courtenay in early July

Conservationists raise concerns over state of care for grizzly cubs transferred to B.C. zoo

‘Let them be assessed now before their fate is sealed,’ urges B.C. conservationist Barb Murray

B.C.’s COVID-19 job recovery led by tourism, finance minister says

Okanagan a bright spot for in-province visitor economy

National Kitten Day aka the ‘purrfect’ day to foster a new friend

July 10 marks National Kitten Day, a special day to celebrate all things kittens

Lower Mainland YouTubers claim to be Kelowna display toilet ‘poopers’

RCMP can not speak to legitimacy of video, will be investigating

Most Read