Prince Rupert Port Authority COVID-19 Update
To our stakeholders:
Prince Rupert is a small, tight-knit community and most families are connected in some way to the Port.
I’d like to assure you that the team at the Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA) is taking the COVID-19 pandemic very seriously, and our primary goals right now are to keep our community and staff healthy and safe, help ‘flatten the curve’ by slowing virus transmission, and maintain the Port of Prince Rupert’s critical role in the continued global movement of goods and ongoing delivery of essential services. The port’s ongoing operation is vital to Canada and North America’s response to COVID-19, and as safety is integral to our sustainability as a gateway, we are working to ensure that trade is conducted as carefully as possible in this situation.
Prince Rupert Port Authority
Expanding on some of the local measures PRPA is taking to promote social distancing, effective March 17, 2020 the Port Interpretive Centre/Prince Rupert Visitor Centre will be closed until further notice. As well, we have cancelled the planned open houses in Prince Rupert and Port Edward for the Ridley Island Export Logistics Platform. PRPA staff is relying on telephone/videoconferencing technology in place of in-person meetings. Non-essential business travel has been suspended, and PRPA is not accepting visitors to its offices (except for essential people) at this time. Employees who have recently returned from outside of Canada are working from home in self-isolation, and we are currently developing a work from home plan for our employees. We are exploring other ways to continue public engagement in a different way aside from in-person gatherings. Increased measures will be introduced as the situation evolves.
Ensuring the health and well-being of gateway workers, local residents, and Canadians is our top priority. PRPA has been working diligently to determine actions and measures to take throughout this evolving situation. We have been working closely with our port tenants and partners to ensure that together we are doing our part to implement practices and procedures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
The broader marine community is doing its part to prevent the spread of COVID-19, as Transport Canada, in concert with multiple agencies including the Canadian Border Services Agency, the Public Health Agency of Canada, shipping lines, masters and crews, port authorities and terminal operators have robust screening processes and practices to ensure vessels and their crews, as well as gateway workers are safe. Furthermore, the Government of Canada announced the delay of the 2020 cruise season, with the restriction of cruise vessels with a capacity of 500 passengers and crew at Canadian ports until July 1, 2020.
The continued health and well-being of gateway workers needs to be a public and community effort. More than 1500 people in Prince Rupert are directly employed in critical aspects of our gateway, and more than 3000 people in northern BC. Every port-related worker needs to take care of their health and take appropriate preparedness measures for themselves and their families as prescribed by the World Health Organization, the Public Health Agency of Canada, and the BC Centre for Disease Control.
In a small community like Prince Rupert, where every resident has personal degrees of separation that can be very low, we all need to act now to go above and beyond in the prevention of COVID-19 transmission.
We recognize that these are uncertain times for all of us, with critical health outcomes in the balance, and a country that is counting on us to ensure that the safe and efficient movement of vital goods continues to happen. As a port community, let’s set the example of doing what it takes to win this battle.
Please continue to monitor our social media channels and website for updates.
President & CEO