Canada’s TOTAL Cruise Ship Ban Retaliates for Keystone

President Joe Biden had barely assumed office when … without negotiation or even consultation with Canada or the oil industry … he cancelled the ENTIRE Keystone pipeline project.

He blamed environmental concerns.

The economic impact on Canada, and especially Alberta, will be devastating: 2,000 jobs lost immediately and Billions in investment literally left in the ground.

“This is a gut punch for the Canadian and Alberta economies. Sadly, it is an insult directed at the United States’ most important ally and trading partner on day one of a new administration,” Alberta Premier Jason Kenney told CTV News.

(You can read more about how badly America’s change of mind will hurt Canada/Alberta economically here:

Two weeks later, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government … without negotiation or even consultation with the United States or the cruise industry … cancelled the ENTIRE cruise ship season right up to, at least, Spring 2022.

They blamed Covid.

The impact on the United States, especially Alaska, will be devastating … affecting 23,000 jobs.

“Canada’s announcement to ban all cruise sailings carrying 100 people or more traveling through Canadian waters, without so much as a courtesy conversation with the Alaska Delegation, is not only unexpected—it is unacceptable—and was certainly not a decision made with any consideration for Alaskans or our economy.We expect more from our Canadian allies,” complained Alaska Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan and Rep. Don Young.

(You can read more about how badly Canada’s cruise ship ban will hurt the US/Alaska economically here:

Starting to see the picture?

Canada retaliated.

Cruise ships unload $1.3 Billion a year into Alaska’s economy.

Of course, neither Trudeau nor any of his Cabinet Ministers would EVER say Canada’s TOTAL cruise ship ban … without ANY consultation or negotiation … had ANYTHING to do with the Americans’ killing Keystone … without ANY consultation or negotiations.

But look closely at what Canada did … the usually polite, considerate, often apologetic Canada.

The Trudeau government didn’t just ban cruise ships from docking in Canada: they won’t even allow them to transit to Alaska through Canadian waters … via BC’s beautiful Inside Passage, keeping them instead way out at sea, not close enough to any of our coastline for passengers to see/enjoy the shores, the inlets, the towns/villages, close up views of mountains/peaks … scenery that Alaska cruises are all about.

And then there’s the U.S. Jones Act.

The 1920 Act, originally designed to protect US shipping and jobs, prohibits foreign-flagged vessels from transporting cargo (passengers) solely between US ports: foreign vessels MUST call at a port in another country before completing a US journey.

Virtually ALL large cruise ships are registered offshore in countries where licensing, taxes, crewing regulations can be more favourable … ie cheaper.

The Jones Act has certainly benefitted Vancouver, Victoria, Nanaimo and Prince Rupert with the hundreds of summer cruise sailings up and down the US West coast from San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle making stops in Canada to/from Alaska.

On the East Coast, ports in Canada, Bermuda, Mexico and the Caribbean satisfy Jones Act legalities.

But with this year’s ban, what is really angering the US … Canada is also banning cruise ships from even making a “technical stop” at any Canadian port … ie just dock briefly to satisfy the Jones Act requirement, without dropping off or taking on ANY goods or passengers.

Amazes me that the mainstream media have not noticed the similarities between the unilateral actions of the US on Keystone and the subsequent retaliatory exceptionally tough unilateral actions by Canada hitting Alaska-bound cruises! Waiting for a Press Release?

The Americans are now looking at whether the President could issue an Order suspending the Jones Act for cruise ships, or even have Congress amend the Act. But Uncle Sam is not happy.

Nor would that solve the cruise ship industry’s biggest problem: being totally banned from Canadian waters.

Sailing miles out in the open, rougher seas for so many days to/from US West coast ports north to Alaska … without BC scenery to admire much of the way … would no doubt hurt the cruising industry … and result it MANY complaints from American passengers.

Take that Joe Biden!

The little Canadian mouse sharing the continent with the American elephant has just bit back where it really hurts.

So I suspect we have not yet witnessed the end of this tit-for-tat conflict.

Harv Oberfeld

(Please note: this weekend marked the anniversary of the on-the-job death of my BCTV colleague Geoff Fisher, who was electrocuted Feb. 13, 1999 while setting up a microwave truck for an interview I was going to do outside Delta Secondary School with an invited guest. You can read about it and remember Geoff here: I never forget.

Also, Pass the Blog on! Let others know what the mainstream media are not reporting. Here’s the link: And follow @harveyoberfeld on Twitter for free First Alerts to all new postings on this Blog. No spam … just First Alerts to new topics.)

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58 Responses to Canada’s TOTAL Cruise Ship Ban Retaliates for Keystone

  1. 13 says:

    Dirty American Coal. Refused from California to Washington by the enviro warriors in those 3 very enlightened states. The Port of Vancouver accepts the Dirty American Coal and we ship it out of BC. The POV will suffer economically with a cruise ship ban. ILWU jobs will be lost. But the Dirty American Coal will still find its way onto ships being loaded in Canadian waters .
    I wonder if Trump had won and Keystone had gone forward if the giant floating virus incubators would have been banned anyways? Oh well, I suppose that allowing Trudeau to claim this as a retaliatory action is giving credit where its not due is okay.

  2. Baker says:

    I don’t buy it.
    The US can solve this issue with a simple, limited, 2021 cruise ship exemption, to the Passenger Vessel Services Act, which requires the cruise ships to stop in Canada between US ports.

    Alaska should have been lobbying for this plan B last fall.The whining now is just politics.

    ( topic)

    (Response: Did you miss the parts where I said: The US can get around it through administrative Order or legislative means? And even if they do, they still can’t get around (without a Canadian change of heart) the BAN from Canadian waters/shorelines, where MUCH of the beauty lies on the two to three day sail in EACH direction on a cruise to Alaska …making the whole experience a much less enjoyable tourist experience? h.o)

  3. Rainclouds says:


    Ironic that a retired reporter is more relevant than the superficial drek spooned out by the corporations and their “journalists” on a nightly basis.

    Thank You

    (Response: Yes, a lot of drek (LOL!) makes it to air these days! The similarities between how the US and Canada imposed hurtful polcies affecting each other, without ANY discussion, consultation, negotiation, is HIGHLY unusual for our two countries. You would think it someone in the mainstream media would have noticed …and at least ASKED about it …on both sides of the border! h.o)

  4. D. M. Johnston says:

    Looks like Trudeau the Younger does have a spine as well, that will make the anti-Trudeau crowd sputter.

    Let us hope they take a sterner stance with China and other not so nice regimes.

    I think Canada has to be a little more meaner, a little more craftier to get the USA to take note, it is sort of like walk softly and carry a big stick. For too long the USA has taken us for granted, for far too long they have ignored Canada and treated us like some backwater.

    Those politicians whose constituencies that will be most affected will certainly let the new president know.

    Let us hope Trudeau and the Liberals do not back down!

    (Response: When Biden killed Keystone, without ANY negotiation or consultation and then also announced his Buy American policy .. all totally legal moves … I expected there would some sort of unspoken response from Canada. And because of the TWO special conditions: stay OUT of our waters, not even a technical stop, I believe this is it! Now let’s watch how the US gets around it …or hits back. h.o)

  5. G. Barry Stewart says:

    I’m surprised the cruise companies are even planning on a 2021 season — though I guess people will be itching to test out their vaccines.

    Good point about not even allowing cruising through our inside passages. There is a legitimate reason that could be offered, though: Canadian pilots. When we cruised to Alaska a few years ago, we were near the top end of Vancouver Island and I was taking photos at the stern and noticed a small seagoing boat racing to catch up to us. When it did, a man climbed aboard and the boat took off.

    I was told it was a pilot, with knowledge of local waters. Now we wouldn’t want the pilots catching COVID on board and taking it back to their remote communities, would we? (Perhaps Biden would want to send a few vaccine vials our way, to ensure all the remote communities were inoculated? 🙂 )

    That seems a totally legit argument… except ALL foreign vessels the size of a big yacht or bigger — and Canadian vessels bigger than BC ferries — are required to use a BC Pilot.

    Apparently all foreign vessels — except cruise ships — are still welcome to ply our waters and employ our pilots. Note: Canada is NOT excluding Alaskan oil tankers, Alaska-bound supply ships or Washington-Alaska ferries, so yes: this does smell retaliatory, Harvey. An all-out ban would border on an act of war, I expect.

    Mind you, if Trudeau allowed cruise ships to use our waters — but NOT land in our ports, he’d face even more blowback from our port cities, who will be suffering from lack of cruiser-cash this year. For sure, we wouldn’t want Canadians boarding the cruise ships — and the Provincial Health Office would be roundly criticized for letting foreigners step off the boats and freely wander around our ports.

    For most of the COVID campaign, we’ve been asked/told not to take unnecessary travel. If anything says “unnecessary travel” it would be cruise ships. Trudeau was correct in shutting them down — perhaps with a dash of retaliation thrown in.

    BC coastal pilot info:

    (Response: Really good points! Yes, if they use pilots on each and every ship going both ways, they could indeed contact/contract Covid. But as you point out, Canada still allows other ships to do that, not to mention all the cargo truck drivers going across our land borders. This could have been worked out … for Alaska bound cruise ships …IF Canada wanted to, but clearly WE were making a point to Biden/US the way countries often do, without saying so directly. h.o)

  6. Baker says:

    “Did you miss the parts where I said:”

    No I did not and you are deflecting. I thought this was about a perceived anti-US, retaliatory move.

    Without the inside passage component, tourists would still fill cruise ships and flock to AK in near regular numbers.

    To counter your spin, I regularly converse with many Alaskans and while they acknowledge financial pain, they are mostly in favour of keeping the floating petri dishes at bay for 2021.

    That said, this is how it should be handled, instead of blind speculation;

    The Passenger Vessel Services Act does not prohibit foreign-flagged ships departing from and returning to the same U.S. port, provided the ship visits any foreign port.

    They could arrange to stop in Victoria with no shore leave and carry on.

    (Response: You don’t seem to let FACTS deter your own spin: Transport Canada has specifically said NO to cruise ships with more than 100 passengers entering Canadian WATERS and has said NO to “technical only” stops. That makes it pretty hard to dock in Victoria (or anywhere in Canada) unless, as I said, Canada changes its mind. h..o)

  7. BMCQ says:

    As I have mentioned several times, Canada needs to take steps to request any country that appears to have the vaccine roll out well under way for assistance to get the vaccines into Canadian arms before the variants become a huge problem .

    I have not searched for more but the attached should give those with loved ones with health compromised health or seniors some hope . It is too late for TOO many but it will help .

    Thank you India .

    Let’s hope media DO NOT allow the Canadian PM to “Take a Victory Lap” on this, as far as i am concerned Canada just got lucky and India did what they could .

  8. Baker says:

    You don’t want opposing views, I get that; it’s your blog, your prerogative.

    The link I provided in my previous post said; “the cruise line has said that it’s working with the U.S. and Canadian governments, along with the Cruise Line International Association (CLIA), to come up with alternative arrangements…”

    And that is/was my point, if they want to resolve it they can and stopping in Victoria, with no shore leave could (COULD) be one negotiated option. It’s up to the cruise industry and the US to come up with a plan, then ask us.

    As for the Pacific Pilotage Authority, there are currently exemptions in play to exempt BC Pilots. The most notable being the Bellingham to Alaska ferries; ferries comparable to our Northern Class, carrying +/- 500 passengers. There are also reciprocal agreements that waive BC ferries from US fees, every time we cross into US waters…dozens of time daily.

    I stand by my previous comments and believe it is a good move on Canada’s part while the outcome of covid is still unknown. Better to extend the ban now and allow tourists to make other travel plans. Otherwise we could see the same cruise ship goat rope we saw last summer and people would be crying about why Canada allowed it to happen.

    The ban has nothing to do with Keystone and it hurts Canada more than the US.

    (Response: Once more, your reading skills seem impaired. The link you provided to an article in your last response is right there in your blog comment. As for your your suggestion I “don’t want opposing views” … again a reading problem? Check out the 29,937 Comments already published on this Blog … and I think you’ll find quite a few disagree with my own brilliant, fact-based persuasive views … even though they are, of course, quite wrong! h.o)

  9. NVG says:

    It would appear that both Presidents, and Trudeau have dropped the ball on the what the appropriate, legal, responsibilities that have been in place since 2009

    Canada-United States Framework for the Movement of Goods and People Across the Border During and Following an Emergency and annex
    Maritime Annex To The Canada-United States Framework For The Movement Of Goods And People Across The Border During And Following An Emergency


    Commits the United States and Canada to work together to manage the movement of goods and people across the border during and following an incident that contributes to significant border disruption and requires national level engagement (i.e., a terrorist attack, an incident that impacts Critical Resources and Key Infrastructure [CIKR] of national interest, a request for national-level assistance).

    The Maritime Annex is for managing the movement of vessels carrying goods and people between Canada and the United States during and following emergencies.

    (Response: Politicians often act for partisan/ideological reasons (especially in election years), ignoring agreements, treaties, advice from diplomats and key staff warnings/recommendations. In this case, both played to large parts of their political base: Biden kept a promise to the environmental activists supported by the left wing of the Democrats; Trudeau was able to “send a message” to the US about Canada’s unhappiness with the handling of Keystone,and knowing many Canadians would be happy to see the ships disappear (especially environmental activists, those who do not cruise, those who do not like the industry and those who do not make their livings through the industry). It will be interesting to see what happens now! h.o)

  10. Not Sure says:

    I am definitely NOT SURE what to make of this topic, but you definitely have an interesting take on things. In the past you have made these claims.

    Limiting traffic in Stanley Park was not just done for health reasons but was a ploy by the Parks Board to wage a war on cars.

    Including Vancouver Health Authority in the December restrictions was not just for health reasons but because Bonnie Henry was afraid to single out South Surrey.

    Including Indigenous people over 65 in a higher priority ranking was not just for health reasons but to pander for votes.

    And now, the cancellation of cruise ships was not just done for health reasons but to get back at the Americans for the cancellation of Keystone.

    Anyway, I have really no opinion here but just so I can follow along.

    1. Did Canada make the right decision in cancelling the cruise season?
    2. Is this actually a purposeful attack on the US specifically Alaska in retaliation to Keystone or just an unintended consequence?
    3. If the answer to #2 is “purposeful attack” is that a wise decision on the part of the government to escalate some kind of economic tit for tat with the US?

    (Response: Question 1: Yes; Question 2 … partially (the Keep totally out of our waters ban AND the NO technical stop anywhere allowed, even without opening a door AND the NO negotiation or consultation move); 3. Yes, because at some point Canada has to stand up against US bullying/threats (Keystone cancellation without negotiation or even discussion AND the Buy America protectionist threat) and show … without directly saying so … to every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. h.o)

  11. Richard Skelly says:

    It may be Ottawa’s retaliation for the unilateral nixing of Keystone XL. Or not.

    This cruise ban may have occurred anyway as part of the Trudeau government’s approach to containing Covid-19. Though the additional prohibition against sailing through Canadian waters does seem intentionally punitive. And may suggest a tit for tat response.

    Canada pays a price, too. Because a big part of the cruise season is having hordes of mostly American passengers disembark to tour and dine in Vancouver and, often, Victoria while a ship is re-supplied. And in imposing the ban, Canada is ensuring suppliers will earn vastly less revenues and hire less workers than would otherwise be the case. And local tourist attractions and eateries will similarly be deprived of customers.

    The ban may be more symbolic than anything. I seriously question how brisk a cruise season there will be in any parts of the world. I sure wouldn’t go one anytime soon. I think it’s all be certain that the big cruise companies will almost certainly demand proof of vaccination of staff and passengers. The Biden administration seems to want all Americans wanting a vaccine to have gotten one by August or so.

    Again, I do question how much demand for cruises will exist this spring, summer and early fall.

    (Response: I agree that the continuation of the ban on cruise ships from Canadian ports this year would have likely occurred anyway: who could argue, at this stage of the pandemic, that they would be safe places to gather a few thousand people in close quarters? And call it a vacation!! But It’s the other parts that really raised my interest and suspicions: the ban from ALL Canadian waters and the refusal to even let them do a technical stop (without even opening a door) just to help the US get around the Jones Act! That doesn’t sound like the Canada I know … and it clearly angered the US. Now, as the comment from Barry suggested, it could have something to do with Covid and the safety of Canadian pilots who sometimes board and assist navigation .. but hundreds of other cargo ships have been allowed to use them and sail our waters, so it sure looks strange, is highly unusual … and being done without ANY consultation or negotiation, has indeed sent a message to Uncle Sam … and Joe Biden. h.o)

  12. Baker says:

    Ok, clearly, things are being overlooked and misrepresented.

    The ban in place now was first impose in March 2020, extended in June 2020 and again in Feb 2021, with no changes. None! So, were was everyone a year ago?

    Secondly, the Jones Act has absolutely nothing to do with this issue or any passengers ships for that matter. Nothing! Jones is a completely different and irrelevant Act. I pointed to the correct Act in an above post.

    Cancelling Keystone XL was a Biden campaign promise, where were you then?

    On these things I AM SURE.

    (Response: If your SO SURE, you’d better get in touch IMMEDIATELY with Bloomberg News which is quoted noting the impact the maritime law will have on Alaska cruises: And while you’re writing them to explain you know more than they do, you’d better send a copy to The Telegraph in the UK: also Travel Weekly; and The Cato Institute as well: h.o)

  13. Baker says:

    Thank you.
    Your links either don’t know the difference between Jones and PVSA or agree with me. CATO calls PVSA a “cousin of the better??known Jones Act.”
    One applies to cargo, the other to passengers. Apples and corn dogs.

    What about Keystone being a campaign promise?

    (Response: Yes.. its cancellation was a Democrat campaign promise. BUT there’s no way Canada could just let Biden do that ..cancel a HUGE international contract, with Billions of dollars already spent, hurt Alberta so badly …and do nothing. Now we’ve done something …and Biden/US know it .. and are NOT happy! h.o)

  14. NVG says:

    Within those links I provided there is another section, on how Canada, United States and Mexico are to handle, specifically, a Pandemic.

    Canada, Mexico and the United States have established the North American Senior Coordinating Body to facilitate planning and response activities for pandemic influenza.

  15. Not Sure says:

    Harvey, I don’t want to get in between you and Baker but I am still not sure what this topic is all about.

    So far this is what I understand.

    1. Nobody is disputing that the Canadian government shouldn’t have extended the ban on cruise ships.
    2. Nobody is disputing that Alaska (as well as Canadian ports) will face economic hardship as a result of the extension.

    What seems to be at issue is the motivation behind the extension. As I pointed out, this is at least the fourth time you have speculated that there is more to a story than just the story. Maybe you are right, maybe the federal government is doing this to strike back at the US for Keystone. But how about this.

    Most Canadians want Canada to move on from Keystone that there are more important issues. As much as Trudeau and the Liberals said they would fight for Keystone do we actually believe that they were ever that committed anyway given their environmental position? Do they want to get in a fight with the US over Keystone, especially with those poll results.

    Now I may be wrong, but seeing that we can speculate about the motivations behind decisions made by the Parks Board, Dr. Henry, the BC government, and now the federal government, maybe Trudeau is making some behind the scene deal with Biden for millions of doses of vaccines. If we can get vaccinated by the summer the ban can be lifted for some August/September sailings. Yes? No? Not sure?

    (Response: It’s not about what some Canadians feel about Keystone: many react to ANY oil movement or pipelines like Pavlovian pooches responding to a bell .. but LOVE driving their cars and using all kinds of equipment that require petrol (buses, trains, planes, trucks delivering goods)or things made in factories that require petroleum to function. It’s about how the US cancelled an APPROVED international project, with Billions of dollars already invested and spent, without so much as consultation and negotiation. Countries/governments cannot let a neighbour or trade partner do that without some response … especially a government planning to head to the polls this year … and maybe even get a few Alberta votes! h.o)

  16. Gilbert says:

    I agree that the cruise ship ban is related to the cancellation of the Keystone Pipeline Project. It certainly appears that relations between Canada and the USA are far from perfect. While the cruise ship ban definitely hurts the USA, it also hurts Canada, so it’s in the interests of both countries to work together to solve their differences.

    Besides the cancellation of the Keystone Pipeline Project and the cruise ship ban, we have two Canadians, Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, who remain prisoners in China, and we also have to worry about American protectionism. Without the co-operation of the USA, I doubt Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig will be releassed soon.

    Though we are allies and co-operate in many areas, Prime Minister definitely is not the presence on the world stage that his father was. I can’t say which country has a really good relationship with Canada? Is it the UK, France, Germany, Australia, Japan, Israel?

    Our prime minister faces many challenges. Besides enormous spending, a lack of vaccines and a real lack of leadership, we also see problems in the relationship with the USA. Though I really wish the prime minister would simply come to the realization he isn’t qualified to be our prime minister, I doubt he’ll come to his senses, so it appears likely he’ll be the prime minister until the next election. In that case, I hope his advisors manage to steer the country back in the right direction.

    (Response: No doubt Trudeau/Liberals are looking awful on the vaccine rollout in comparison with more than two dozen other countries ..and the government’s daily promise that millions of doses are coming “before the end of March” doesn’t impress!! And yes, it’s quite noticeable that the US …as I wrote in a recent blog … did NOTHING to help Trudeau out of his terrible pre-election predicament, so maybe that also came into play with Canada’s EXCEPTIONALL tough expansion of our cruise ship ban! But it sure looks to me like something more is at play than just the continued closure of Canada’s PORTS. h.o)

  17. 13 says:

    Odd that some argue about the effects of this ban. Harvey answered Not Sures questions
    1 Yes
    2 Yes and qualified Yes
    3 Yes
    I agree with those responses to Not Sure .. The only thing that I would have liked to have seen/ heard would have been our challenged ,spineless , Prime Minister walk out of his bungalow take the podium and look at the camera with that condescending grin and address Canadian’s from uh coast to uh coast to uh coast. Thusly
    “In retaliation for Presidents Bidens cancellation of the keystone pipeline our government will take the following actions and is prepared to take further unspecified measures to protect the economies of our resource based provinces.
    1 we will take measures to stop the flow of American coal through our ports
    2 we are banning cruise ships for the foreseeable future. Covid also is a factor in this decision.

    Canada is prepared to allow the coal to continue and to discuss a date to resume allowing cruise ships to visit our ports when the American President is willing to discuss resumption of the Keystone pipeline.”
    Trudeau could have and should have made it clear that the cruise ship ban was NOT solely based on covid concerns but also the loss of jobs and revenue from the Keystone pipeline.
    Trudeau has a scheduled media event with many of his top ministers today
    Otool is running ads introducing himself to Canada
    It seems that we will get the opportunity to return Trudeau to his illustrious careers as a drama teacher/ snowboard instructor.

    (Response: No, no!! That’s not what nations do. Notice China has denied the detention of the two Michaels has nothing to do with Meng Wan Zhou’s detention in Canada. Russia totally denied ANY of their troops EVER entered Ukraine: they were volunteers helping out local Russian ethnics while on their vacation. LOL! Trudeau making such a declaration would be akin to an insult and almost declaration of economic war. Instead, Canada took actions they KNEW the US would not like, and I believe Canada purposely did not consult or negotiate beforehand to send a direct message to Biden/US … and I’ll bet although the media might not even put two and two together to notice what we were doing, the White House/state department have noticed! h.o)

  18. BMCQ says:

    I may be mistaken but I do not believe the new “Shutdown” of the B.C. Cruise Industry is related to the XL cancellation by the U.S. Biden Admin, I believe it is an extension of the two or three previous “Shutdowns” of the B.C. Cruise Industry, nothing more nothing less . I feel very strongly that the move to extend the closure is no different than the extended U.S. and Canada Border closures which have also been extended several times .

    I have trouble stating the following but I believe the “Shutdown” of the B.C. Cruise Ship Industry only makes common sense, obviously almost a first for the PM Justin Government after so many amateurish blunders and poor policy since he was elected .
    He actually made a decision that makes sense and he is guarding over his “Flocck” .

    I honestly do not see the Canadian Government, the PM, or Senior Ministers being vindictive enough or even aware of anything close to understanding how to retaliate against any nation for any reason .

    It is very unfortunate but I sadly believe it is necessary . I believe the Canadian Industry as a whole is worth almost $ 4 Billion and cities like Vancouver where Chinatown, Gas Town, restaurants, local tourist spots like the north shore mountains, etc., hotels, and much more will all suffer greatly but is there an alternative ?

    Victoria alone sees about 1,000 people and many business operations that rely on the Cruise Ships, what alternative is there ?

    Then there are all of the other industries like ship chandlers which my own company does business with, service industries, transportation, and so much more, once again they will suffer greatly and some may very likely close , but what do we do ?

    I do not believe there is an alternative .

    Whether it be Federal Liberal Government or a conservative Government I believe the decision would be the same, I do not see any way around it .

    What about Florida, please see the attached, updated only a week or so ago .

    I have also attached a piece that talks about the EU cruise Lines and the restrictions, I DO NOT believe they are “Retaliating” against poor old Joe Biden for the decapitation of the XL pipeline .

    Personally my wife and I are not cruisers but we have many friends and family members that take two or three cruises a year and none of them told me they will be cruising any time soon .

    I must also point out that interestingly enough 100 million U.S. residents and those of dozens of other countries might be immunized with two jabs long before Canada has managed to jab 250 thousand and those Americans, Europeans, Israeli’s and millions of more residents of several countries will be ready to cruise and the Canadian Government has shutdown the Alaskan Cruise Business, people will find alternatives and because of the poor roll out the people of Canada and B.C. will be hurt and may lose business’s, jobs, and their health .

    Our Federal Government has let us down and I see no quick fix .

    Then there is this, yes there are treaties/Agreements in place regarding the touchdown of ships travelling to the U.S. ports in Alaska docking in into Victoria and Vancouver but let’s be honest, the U.S. just cancelled XL, do not be surprised that if they are in the mood they might do away with Vancouver and Victoria all together .

    Let’s be honest, the Seattle cruise ship Industry is growing and if the U.S. Government sees fit they could and might by pass Vancouver and Victoria all together .
    It could happen .

    (Edited…off topic)

    No, I do not believe that the “Shutdown” of the Alaska Cruise Industry by the Canadian federal Government has anything to do with retaliation, the Canadian PM and his Minions are “Not Worthy” .

    I have not read the attachments above as it has been hectic in the office, I will re read everything from top to bottom when I have a few minutes, I hope to learn something .

    (Response: Notice the title of this blog refers to the TOTAL ban of cruise ships from Canadian waters. I agree continuing the ban on cruises from stopping at Canadian ports is understandable and should be supported. Where the politics and message to Biden/US lies is ibn the banning of these ships from anywhere in Canadian WATERS or allowing them to do even a technical stop, to meet the Jones Act requirements. Many people may not understand what that is all about …but I’d bet the US state department and the White House know! h.o)

  19. BMCQ says:


    Thank you for posting the tribute to Mr. Fisher, it is a very thoughtful gesture on your part, I am sure it is something you will never forget .

    I am also sure his family and friends will also appreciate the fact that you made the gesture to salute your friend and colleague . Family and good friends never forget .

    One never knows what might come around in life, we all need to savour and enjoy every day to it’s fullest .

    Very Sad .

  20. Baker says:

    Since you are a champion of the little guy, preacher of human rights and a good union man, consider an alternate view of your gCaptain Bloomberg article, written by a specialist in World Maritime History and Maritime Security.

    Actually take a look at the human conditions and corporate cheating to try to better understand what the Passenger Vessel Services Act is really about. “if a company can pay a Filipino seafarer less than $900 a month and keep them at sea for 11 months, why would they want to employ Americans?

    There seems to be a disconnect and lack of understanding of my point.

    The Canada ban has been in effect since March 2020 and has now been extended to Feb 2022. Nothing has changed except the end date and Canadian officials have said the end date can be changed again in either direction subject to any covid-9 changes.

    The cruise ship ban hurts Canada more than the US as we lose an entire tourist season, while the US will suffer only a slight drop in Alaska tourists.

    The issue of the Passenger Vessel Services Act (not the Jones Act which easily confounds bloggers and lazy MSM) is between the US authorities and the cruise industry. They can sort it or not.

    Certainly the ban on some travelers TO the US, will impact the cruise industry but US citizens will have more options for Alaska Cruises.

    Another angle not touched on is, US out of country travel. Only in the last decade or so, have “Americans” discovered a world beyond their borders. Only recently have huge numbers of Yanks obtained passports.

    With that discovery, more and more people take their travel dollars outside the US. So, in a way, it could be argued the Canada border closure and cruise ship ban, boost the stay at home revenue.

    If even half of the 15 million US to Canada tourists, spending (statistically) $500 per trip, kept those travel dollars at home, that’s 3.75 billion dollars into the US economy.

    Lastly, I have to smile that BMCQ and I agree on the motives behind the year old, ongoing cruise ship ban. I particularly appreciated his inclusion of Florida, the CDC and Euro cruise markets for more balance.

    A small correction to one statement though where he said; “Victoria alone sees about 1,000 people…” The 2019 cruise season spewed 700,000 tourists into Victoria’s inner harbor.

  21. 13 says:

    HO s response to 13

    I understand the tit for tat response when countries want to make a point and dont need to stand up and stand out.
    Joe didnt beat around the bush. He campaigned on scraping Keystone and on day one even before the obligatory call to the PM of the country that has stood side by side with his country he cancelled Keystone in a heart beat.

    In this case had Trudeau cancelled the cruising season he should have stood tall and claimed that the coal shipments would be next. It would have shown that he had the guts to retaliate in kind. It would have garnered him support in Western Canada.

    I dont believe for one second that the his cancelling the 2021 cruising season was at all aimed beyond an extension of our covid protocols.
    Trudeau has zero integrity zero gravitas, zero credentials, and would have difficulty negotiating with a roadside lemon aid stand

  22. BMCQ says:


    I tend to lean conservative in my politics but please believe me when I say When it comes to a vibrant flourishing economy I would vote for any political party or leader providing they were doing the best for my business, the employees, my country and then my family in that order . Without a healthy economy and without profitable business’s we have no social programs, no education, or ability to advance our population .

    Basic common sense, nothing more and nothing less, common sense trumps ideology . You and I might agree on more than you think .

    I type too quickly and admit I need a god editor, my intention was to say that I believed about 1000 people in Victoria are involved in the cruise/tourism industry in Victoria, my heart bleeds for them, they will now need to get along without cruise ships and less tourism until May of 2022, it is incumbent on all of us able to spend as much money as we can possibly afford locally in B.C. to help make up for losses .

    I understand that some do not want tourists but I also believe that we should consider ourselves in B.C. that Snow Birds are spending time in B.C. I am confident they have taken health precautions .

    Each and every one of us must never forget that the cruise ship season may have had a chance if the PM had managed a reasonable roll out of the vaccines . Yes it may have been abbreviated but ………..

    Again, close to $ 4 Billion in cruise ship lost revenue for Canada, a tragedy, let’s support local business, we need to do the best we can until next year at this time .

  23. John's Aghast says:

    Damnit Harvey, snuck a look at your blog and for ONCE, I agree with BMCQ, and Baker.
    BMWQ is still too verbose and pedantic, but he is making sense. This ‘restriction’ is hurting Canadian economy much worse than the American’s. But he should have banned coal shipments as well!
    I’ll try to restrict my commentary so as not to turn any readers off, but there is no reason to ban the cruise ships from Canadian WATERS (scenery) and the matter of Pilot is easily resolved (vaccines, testing), but I believe Bmqc and I could have resolved this.
    You’re making a Tsunami out of a wavelet!

    (Response: “Wavelet”? This was in the Los Angeles Times TODAY (Must have read my Blog!): The impact on Alaska is DEVASTATING!! Read this, also just hours ago … about 20,000 jobs affected: Also TODAY, from US Travel Agents warnings of ” extensive economic damage” : There are none so blind as those who just will not see! Some “wavelet”! h.o)

  24. HARRY LAWSON says:


    Really enjoying the conversation, it is a great diversion from packing up the apartment .it is always nice to see new posters on the site.

    Baker states You don’t want opposing views, I get that; it’s your blog, your prerogative.

    harvey the joy of this blog is the opposing views , sometimes i change my mind ,sometimes not.

    we are watching a high stakes passive aggressive pissing match between good fiends , each will suffer a bit. lets hope common sense prevails.

    (Response: I challenge anyone to find ANY blog topic where the Comments haven’t reflected opposing views. h.o)

  25. Baker says:

    1) When cloaked words are used to describe a dissenter as illiterate, it is an indication to me, there is resistance to the oposing view. I’ll leave it at that.

    2) Any yipping, from Alaska politicians is as transparent as a Trump tax return. They have to demonstrate they are doing something for Alaska. Cheap politics is all that is.

    3) Still no response from any quarter on why crickets on this topic for a year.

    (Response: Re #3 … I thought it was obvious: Because the entire US based cruise ship industry voluntarily canceled their Alaska (and Eastern Canada) cruise seasons in 2020 ..and did not need or even ask to pass through Canadian waters. h.o)

  26. frozentundra says:

    Hi Harvey:

    That is certainly an interesting argument that Trudeau is using the Alaskan cruise industry as retaliation for Keystone

    My less educated take on it is that it is a bait and switch by the Liberals, just like today’s attack on gun owners, to take people’s attention away from a possible shortage of vaccines and the fact that a third wave of COVID is coming and they have nothing in their briefcase to do anything about it. I think that the Liberals would do nothing to jeopardize the fact they have their perfect dance partners in Washington, a presidency full of people who will believe everything they believe in regards to climate policies, etc. If they were angry about Keystone, they would have done something more high profile. My opinion was that the Liberals were happy to get Keystone killed, but had to pretend that they werent. Just my opinion on this, my cynicism for anything political is high today.

    (Response: The more I think about it, maybe not just Keystone, but maybe also Biden’s Buy America declaration/policy. This certainly helps show the US that if they hurt us, our economy, our jobs …without so much as consultation of negotiation … we can hit back. I can assure you: it’s so out of character for Canada to do the TOTAL ban from our waters and NO technical stops either … if some on here and other media don’t think there’s any link, the White House, US State Department and Alaska’s Congressional reps and Senators are well aware of it, are talking about it and how to respond. h.o)

  27. 13 says:

    @ Aghast, Your assertion that Ships Pilots can be vaccinated might not be valid. Bus drivers wait their turn. Truckers wait their turn. Cab Uber Ups Purolator etc all need to wait for their respective age groups. Many will be amorg the last groups to rec the vaccine. (Unless they happen to be indigenous). Also dont feel the need to ” restrict your commentary so as not to turn any readers off” most people that use computers realize that just because its on the screen you dont have to read it.

    (Response: They could actually vaccinate sea pilots (some air pilots have been vaccinated) as required front line workers …if they really wanted to help the US out of its current dilemma. But apparently Canada does not want to do that! h.o.)

  28. Not Sure says:

    A tsunami out of a wavelet.

    Fact: Canada extended the ban on cruise ships.
    Fact: This has a negative effect on the tourism sector in Alaska (and Canada but leave that aside)
    Fact: Alaskan politicians are upset.

    Are any of those facts in dispute? Are any of those facts a surprise?

    Fact: Biden cancelled Keystone XL
    Fact: Canadian politicians (especially Albertans) are upset.

    Are either of those facts in dispute? A surprise?

    So what is the argument here? Look at the headline. Harvey has drawn a connection between the first set of facts and the second set of facts and claimed retaliation on the part of Canada.

    So we are arguing over a speculation. And to prove that speculation we have to imagine that Canada would have done something differently had Keystone not been cancelled.

    Baker (especially) has set out a good argument that Canada would have done nothing differently.

    Harvey has linked almost a dozen articles proving that the ban has hurt Alaska and that Alaskan politicians are upset which are not in dispute. But in none of those articles do we find the word Keystone. Nobody else is making that connection except … I don’t think he linked this one that does mention Keystone but not as a retaliation but more “now you know how we feel about your decisions”

    So in a sense, some Americans have been put in the same position as some Canadians and Kenney and Murkowski can have a good laugh over the incompetence of the other person’s federal leader but I am wondering if Kenney is even thinking “good for Justin for sticking it to the Yanks”.

    Anyway, carry on.

    (Response: You’re correct: none of the other media have yet pointed to a possible connection between Canada’s highly unusual and tough move to not just close our ports but also ban cruise ships from all our waters on their way from US mainland to Alaska. That’s what we call a scoop!! And over my career won me many awards. Happy to say .. and regular readers are aware … that MANY times on this blog I have pointed to things I see developing that other media have ignored …until months later when they finally notice and/or they become major problems that can no longer not be noticed. Trust me …we have not seen/heard the end of Canada’s TOTAL ban on US cruise ships from our waters yet! h.o) h.o)

  29. helena handcart says:

    Hell must have frozen over. I find myself in total agreement with BMCQ’s thoughtful comment. It’s nice to be able to read one of his comments through to the end. Keep it up, old chap.
    (and, yes, you do need a good editor, but I don’t think that god wants the job 😉

  30. BMCQ says:


    You took my line, I was going to comment to Aghast “As Don Henley once told me, Hell Has Frozen Over, I agree with Aghast” !! Now Horror of Horrors Helena, Baker, and Aghast ALL agree with BMCQ, imagine . I wonder if we can get Harvey to change his mind .

    I have now made up my mind, when Harvey has his Post Covid “Keeping It Real Picnic” next Labour Day I want to sit at a picnic table that includes Aghast, Baker, Helena, e.a.f., and Not Sure . I am quite sure it would be an unfair food fight, five against one .

    As to the comments by Frozen Tundra, I believe that the Government, the PM, and his Handlers are doing almost anything they can to roll out a different “Shiny Bauble” every week or so to deflect, obscure and manipulate the truth about the Failed Roll Out of Vaccines, the media are of course playing right into it and the “Great Unwashed” are so far not quite falling for it .

    ( topic)

    I probably however still do not believe the action on the cancellation of the Alaskan Cruise Season is related to XL but we may not ever know the ugly truth .

    Interesting that not as many agree with Harvey on this but the argument, the discussion, and the debate, has proven to be very interesting .

    Everything from restaurants, to taxis, to retailers, dock workers, all of the others we have mentioned and more are affected by the closure of the CS Season and because it is the second year it could very well mean the end for many of those business’s and people affected . Gut Wrenching !

    It now seems to me that we would get more common sense and sound policies out of punters on this Blog than what we are now getting from our uh Political Masters .

    (Edited…off topic)

    We should all pay close attention to the Alaska Cruise Line Story and see if Harvey’s theory begins to get any traction .

    Some great stuff so far .

    (Response: Let’s keep it real: the Americans couldn’t care less about the impact of the closure on Canadian “restaurants, to taxis, to retailers, dock workers”. From their point of view the issue is Canada’s closure of ALL our waters to the US ships to pass through and not even allowing them to make a technical stop at some pier to satisfy US law. Why? Just think of what the cruise industry means to Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Whittier … and the hundreds of millions dollars spent on US foods and goods that are packed onto those ships each summer … all lost if the 2021 season is cancelled. To say they are not amused and won’t take that silently is putting it mildly. h.o)

  31. Not Sure says:

    OK, now I am even more intrigued. I am not arguing with you but now I have to ask about scoops and how journalists work. You have a hunch that the extension of the cruise ship ban is more than just a continuation of the ban. You believe that Canada is been purposeful in its refusal to be in any way co-operative. That this ban is a retaliation regarding Keystone.

    So as a journalist you go to Trudeau and ask the question but as you pointed out to 13

    “Trudeau making such a declaration would be akin to an insult and almost declaration of economic war.”

    So he denies it. Where do you go from there?

    In response to me you said “Trust me …we have not seen/heard the end of Canada’s TOTAL ban on US cruise ships from our waters yet!”

    Maybe not. But what is your hunch. Will the US change the law. Here is an article saying it is highly unlikely.

    Do you envision a retaliation on the part of the US? Will there be some kind of negotiated settlement where Canada gets something in return. What is the endgame?

    (Response: Of course it’s only a “scoop” if it’s true. This is a blog … where ideas and speculation can take place to express personal opinion and generate discussion, even just have fun theorizing … unlike a news operation, which is or should be serious business, and is SUPPOSED to stick only to proven facts (although frankly if you watch any of the cable news networks, many have lost their way in this regard!). As for retaliation, I suspect there already are behind-the-scenes “discussions” taking place, with the US pressuring Canada to at least allow passage though our waters or make a short technical stop at some pier in Canada, without taking on or dropping pax or goods, just to satisfy the Jones Act. h.o)

  32. e.a.f. says:

    So this is what happens when I don’t look at my computer for a few days.
    Interesting topic and anyalsis.

    No one ought to have been surprised Biden/Harris cancelled the Keystone pipeline. As some one mentioned they campaigned on it. There was good reason to cancel it. Had that pipeline broken aquifers would have been destroyed and the company had a history of their pipelines breaking. the original route was through “white” towns who objected. It was then determined to run it through Indigenous lands. Biden/Harris simply did the right thing for their country, for their citizens. No need to consult with us, they had made it known. If Kenny and others are unhappy too bad. People’s health ought to be more important than the money foreign corporations make.

    Now as to cancelling the cruise season. Did Trudeau do it to even out the score? I don’t know. It could be. Your argument makes sense. I’ve always thought he was tougher than he looked because, remember he got in that boxing ring and did the rounds and was left standing. A cup cake can’t do that. I don’t know how many here have been hit by a boxer in the head, even when you were young, but I have. It hurts, you’re dizzy, your ears ring, etc. Trudeau is tougher than he looks.

    On the other hand, Trudeau may have done the right thing from a health stand point. Those cruise ships, as we have seen, were floating covid palaces. In an emergency they might have needed to come into Canadian waters/ports etc and they would have brought their disease with them. One could say it was a preemptive move for health reasons. Having done a little reading on freighters and their polluting of waters, I checked to see what may have caught Trudeau’s eye and decided our waters and marine animals were just to valuable to keep these ships going through our waters and this was a good time to keep them out.

    Once a cruise ship is 3 miles off shore they are permitted to discharge into the ocean. Those bacteria, etc. all float into our waters and land on our beaches.

    Cruise ships discharge 25K gallons of sewage from toilets
    143K gallons of sewage from sinks, galleys, showers
    7 tons of garbage and chemical water
    15 gallons of toxic chemicals
    7 gallons of oily bilge water.

    Normally countries do talk to each other about their impending actions which will impact the other country. On the other hand sometimes, they don’t. Perhaps Trudeau decided there was no point in talking regardless of reason. It was Canada’s decision to make. Don’t care why Trudeau did it, just that he did it. I’m good with the decision.

    If Trudeau’s rational was environmental I am more than happy. Last summer there was a project on the west coast to clean it up. (funding was provided for those who would not be working due to COVID) One young person who participated told me how much they found and what. They found more than they ever expected. ?Some of the areas they went into hadn’t had people there for decades. Records were kept of everything. Given what floats up on our shores it could well have been health reasons and Trudeau wasn’t going to argue the point for one minute because he felt Canadian health is important.

    Some scientists are now taking samples from sewers by care homes. They have discovered COVID in the sewage water prior to there being outbreaks. they believe its a good method of detecting a COVID out break. Do we want the virus washing up on our shores?

    Good topic Harvey. Like the analysis. IF this was a “get even” action. Good for Trudeau. If this was for environmental/health reasons good for Trudeau.

    It will be interesting to see what happens once the pandemic is over, if it ever is.
    We might also want to watch for other things Trudeau does, suddenly.

    (Response: You hit the nail EXACTLY on the head when you wrote: “Normally countries do talk to each other about their impending actions which will impact the other country.” THAT’S my point: it would be quite normal and totally within Canada’s powers to close our ports to cruises for another season … would not raise my interest/speculation at all. BUT as I’ve said, it’s that fact that Canada went much further …banning the ships from our waters completely, not even allowing them to do a technical stop …totally WITHOUT consultation or discussion or negotiation with our “closest ally and neighbour” (just like Biden did to us on Keystone and But America threats to our economy) that suggests Canada is sending a message. And as I also said, I’m sure the White House, the State Department and US politicians have HEARD that message loud and clear … even if some on here can’t understand how that works. h.o)

  33. Baker says:

    (Response: Re #3 … I thought it was obvious: Because the entire US based cruise ship industry voluntarily canceled their Alaska (and Eastern Canada) cruise seasons in 2020 ..and did not need or even ask to pass through Canadian waters. h.o)

    Something is out of sync here and perhaps it’s because you were off on some safari last year and missed the local press.

    Canada banned cruise ships in March 2020 to be re-examined in July.

    The cruise corps planted their heads where the sun doesn’t shine, ignoring all the ominous signs and continued taking bookings, right into October, the end of the Pacific/Atlantic Season.

    To anyone paying attention, as the weeks ticked by towards the July date, all bets were on an extension to the ban.

    May 29, Canada extends the ban to October 31.

    July 6, 2020, the cruise industry announced it was suspending the 2020 season.

    By then the cruise industry had kept selling tickets while thousands of passengers and crew were stranded at sea, soon to be quarantined in their respective cabins, for weeks. Dying even.

    The poor cheap labour folks treated like the Irish, fleeing the potato famine, in steerage aboard the SS Lusitania.

    Today, a year later, people are still chasing the cruise industry for refunds.

    Yup, good corporate citizens that they are, the cruise ship industry did the good deed and voluntarily dropped anchor for the season, way back at the beginning of the 2020 season.

    (Response: It was quite clear there was very little passenger market for cruises this past season, and Covid fears were at a very high level so the companies were in no position to challenge port closures BOTH in Canada AND the US. This is 2021, the industry wants to re-open, the economic damage to the companies and heavily tourism-reliant communities has been HUGE, some passengers are willing to sail … thus the interest and pressure to get back to Alaska cruising in 2021 … which makes Canada’s TOTAL ban from our waters until 2022 a BIG problem the US won’t allow to go unchallenged. Sad for you that you can’t see it. h.o)

  34. e.a.f. says:

    BMCQ, I will be happy to attend and in keeping with my principles concerning fairness I will for the purpose of a food fight join you, on your side.

    This is what is good about blogs. Eventually people agree on something. Its a start and some times that is all we need in this life.

  35. Baker says:

    (Edited…off topic)

    “Sad for you that you can’t see it.”
    Again, you are stuck with the retaliation bag over your head, refusing to acknowledge there are sane and coherent people who just see it differently.

    Folks who declare themselves worthy of the Order of Canada, should at least be capable of a softer, gentler understanding.

    I read an item this morning, Texas is colder than Alaska right now, so why not just turn off the 7.4 billion cubic feet per day natural gas spigots to the US, in retaliation?

    (Response: Some believe there are “sane and coherent people who just see it differently” when it came to Charlottesville and also the US election result: that Trump was robbed; the election was fixed … despite MANY news stories from MANY disparate news sources, quoting MANY different election officials; citing MANY different Court rulings testifying to the contrary. You are certainly still entitled to see things “differently” … despite MANY different news sources, MANY different Alaska Congress officials, MANY different Cruise Line reps and MANY Tourism sites/orgs issuing condemnations/protests/calls for review etc. … and call it all just a “wavelet” … but this Blog is titled Keeping it Real, and I clearly have put the spotlight on a growing Canada/US dispute important to MANY…and what just could be behind it. h.o)

  36. Not Sure says:

    Last post I said I was intrigued and asked about scoops and journalism. Now I am disappointed. You said “This is a blog … where ideas and speculation can take place to express personal opinion and generate discussion, even just have fun theorizing … unlike a news operation, which is or should be serious business, and is SUPPOSED to stick only to proven facts”

    Fair enough, I guess, although it does seem an odd defence.

    Your headline makes this bold assertion Canada’s TOTAL Cruise Ship Ban Retaliates for Keystone

    It is speculation at its finest. It can never be proven unless Trudeau confesses which of course he won’t.

    ( topic)

    But the topics are important. Any one of these. Should we respond to Keystone. If so how? Should we have discussed the extension with the US. Why? Do the Americans and the cruise lines have a point? How should Canada respond to the American concerns. What is the endgame of this decision regardless of motive?

    The discussion doesn’t go away. But we aren’t distracted by speculation.

    (Response: You are “disappointed” to discover this is a blog? And my revelation that blogs are different from actual professional news operations/sites? If so, and you’re not just trolling, those are your problems …not mine or the world’s. h.o)

  37. BMCQ says:

    I agree with Harvey about 80% of the time, the rest of the time he happens to be incorrect, I am sure he can live with that .

    On this particular debate I happen to disagree with him and I believe much of the posted news pieces back much of that up but I am certainly not going to tell him that he is “Whacked Out” on this one and he cannot possibly be right because there is a possibility he could be correct .

    Personally I simply do not believe the Canadian PM or his Handlers and Minions are capable of coming up with the scheme Harvey speaks about .

    One last thing here, just because I agree with Harvey on this it does not mean I will kick sand in his face or disrespect him . Harvey does a lot for us and he is far better than most working professional media types, most of them could not carry his pencil box . I demand an increase in salary for Harvey .

    Hate to admit it but I have been proven wrong a few times since I joined this Blog in about August 2014 and happily admitted it, that is the real test . I have also evolved on one or two matters and I am still struggling with the last topic of U.S. Moral Duty, I am somewhat torn .

    Please do not criticize me for the brevity .

    (Response: Read my latest response to Not Sure: my explanation there would fit quite well here as well. h.o)

  38. John's Aghast says:

    Halloo 13, Just hire octogenarian or native pilots. Problem solved!
    And keep comments brief in order to retain reader interest.

  39. Not Sure says:

    No Harvey, I am far from trolling. I am trying to seek clarity.

    You are a fierce critic of the MSM so I was surprised (maybe disappointed is the wrong word) by your explanation that news organizations have to stick to proven facts while blogs (like yours?) don’t.

    How should the MSM deal with this story. With speculation? The National Post story that I linked above (here it is again did a good job of connecting some dots without speculating that it was retaliation.

    Honestly Harvey, I appreciate your blog, especially right now.

    And to be fair, there is nothing wrong with speculating. But arguing over a speculation is pointless when it CAN NEVER be proven unless Trudeau blurts it out by mistake.

    And nobody is saying that this story isn’t important. Maybe degrees of importance can be argued as people do see things differently.

    But let’s do some real speculating that may be worth exploring. Forgetting Canada’s motivation, suppose Biden SEES this as retaliation, what’s the outcome. He gives in and rescinds the cancellation of Keystone? He shrugs and says “boy never thought stuff shirt Trudeau had the smarts to pull that off. Better take this as a loss and be more careful next time.” He says “Son of a Bitch, we can’t take this lying down. What can we do to punish them?”

    Or most likely there is some kind of negotiating. And if there is some kind of negotiating, should Canada just be the good neighbour and cave or should we hold firm.

    None of that has been discussed because we are too caught up/distracted by your provocative headline.

    (Response: True, there has been no EVIDENCE that Canada’s TOTAL ban of largely US-originating cruise ships relates to Keystone. But one of the basic questions any journalist learns to ask, especially covering politicians, is WHY they do certain things. Bloggers should too … so when I heard that the federal government wasn’t just keeping the ships out of Canada’s ports, but also out of ALL our waters, even miles from shore, and wouldn’t even allow them to make a technical stop … I wondered WHY? Especially in light of Canada’s usual polite, accommodating attitudes to other countries, especially our closest ally and largest trading partner, without ANY consultation or ANY negotiation. It is highly unusual! And all I could come up with was retaliation for the rude, crude way Biden killed Keystone. And after seeing all the reactions from US politicians, Alaska officials, the cruise ship industry … I’m more convinced than ever I am on to something, although of course, Trudeau nor any of his Ministers would ever come out and say it. BUT I can assure you, the US Ambassador in Ottawa and the State Department on to this issue … analyzing the decision as well, and I have no doubt they’ll be trying to figure out WHY as well. h.o)

  40. helena handcart says:

    I wonder why some continue to view the US as a benevolent, friendly giant that lives next door and smiles fondly at Canada over the fence. The US is a 900 lb gorilla and we are in bed with it, just hoping that it doesn’t roll over. The US will do what is right for its citizens and everything else is secondary. That’s the way it should be. The days of popping over the border with a cheerful wave from the guard are long gone since 9/11. No more Sunday beers at the Breakers or a pizza at Shakeys. Since 9/11 the US has become insular and hostile. The sooner we understand that it is just another foreign country like Spain, France or UK, the better off we will be.
    It is time for us to stand on our own. If banning cruise ships from our waters is in Canada’s interests, too bad.

  41. e.a.f. says:

    good morning Not Sure, well its my version of morning at 2:19 p.m. we all have our own versions of reality. However, one ought not to be disappointed. Harvey’s been around since I was young. He has what we used to call experience. He has some insight into what goes on in politics. some times speculation is just another word for having a good guess based on experience of situations and knowing some of the players. If you have watched politics in this country as long as some on this blog, its more than just speculation. We’ve been down this road before, several times.

    Trudeau at some point will tell. Most likely when his book is written when he becomes an old man. A lot of us on this blog won’t be around, but for those of you who are younger, mark it down.

    When it comes to blogs, some are for opinions and some are actually providing news which the MSM won’t touch when it first becomes news and some are a combination of the two. They are sources of news. There is a blog which started in Alabama, it provides news and opinion, but some of the news it provided prevented one judge from being considered for the American Supreme
    Court. Empty Wheel another American political blog was certainly more out there than an MSM organization, some times by several days. During the investigations and first empeachment of Trump it had reports written by F.B.I. agents, with deleted words, yet they were able to figure out what was being discussed.

    There are blogs all over this country which deal with the political workings of their province and some times the information is shocking news. Right now an Albertan blog is discussing. is Kenny going to privitize the ambulance service. he like Harvey takes pieces, looks at them, has experience in political things, and comes to a conclusion.

    There are blogs in this province who were telling the truth about money laudering in B.C. years, and years before the MSM decided to deal with it. Some of those bloggers have passed away. Some of them are still around doing other things. One blog provides us with all sorts of information regarding the inner workings of B.C. Hydro.

    We had one blogger, Rafe Muir, a former Socred Cabinet Minister, who had great insight into things. Now if you’ve been a former Cabinet Minister, opinionator on radio, broadcaster, etc. when you take a “stab” at things, you usually aren’t wrong. I put Harvey in that column. So having gone on for some time, enough to make BMCQ proud or leaving him cringing, Harvey’s head line isn’t speculation. Its his opinion and I’ve found his opinion is usually based on more than a few facts or some dam good intelligence.

    Let me put this another way. If you have a “cheating” spousal unit who swears they are now faithful, but is going on vacation for a few days with friends and takes their nice suits, sexy under wear, good jewllry, doesn’t tell you which resorts they’re staying in, is it speculation they’re going to be cheating again or or a conclusion based on past facts and their “act”.

  42. 13 says:

    The thought of Trudeau writing a book has me in stiches. A Dell comic, or a Crayola colouring book?

  43. Not Sure says:

    Clearly I am not making myself clear.

    Let’s try this article.

    No mention of Keystone. No mention of retaliation.

    But … look particularly at the comments by the CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of BC who

    “worries that any temporary waiver to the Passenger Vessel Services Act might become permanent, meaning potential disaster for tourism in Canada’s westernmost province.

    ‘Once you set a precedent like that, even if only on a temporary basis, who’s to stop a lobby from making that permanent? And so that would be a big concern, if you start to sail from, say, Alaska to Seattle, and vice versa, and you cut out the Canadian ports’

    Isn’t this the story. Forget the speculation about motivation. Maybe Trudeau is trying to flex his muscles and prove that he can take a punch to the head or maybe he has already been hit too hard too often to make any kind of rational decision. That doesn’t matter.

    What does matter is whether this decision is putting a good segment of BC’s tourist industry at risk. Can we speculate on that.

  44. Baker says:

    Not Sure, you are making yourself very clear. It’s just the minority shareholders here who do not want to see or acknowledge your position.

    Your VOA link really hits the mark, particularly as to precedence.

    Add to that, lets speculate a temporary change is made, which down the road becomes permanent. Then say Canada lifts the (hysterical) “TOTAL ban,” the die is cast and cruise ships bound from WA to AK can travel the scenic inside waters of BC without stopping.

    That could conceivably ad a day or two in Alaska, adding insult to injury to Vancouver and Victoria.

  45. BMCQ says:

    The more I think about this topic the more concerned I become that as Baker speculates above Vancouver and Victoria could be very easily eliminated as stops for Alaska bound Cruise Ships causing a huge economic hit to Victoria, Vancouver Island, YVR, and the Province of B.C. .

    If Seattle was to become the sole base and starting point for Alaska bound Cruise Lines B.C. could face economic disaster that we may never recover from .

    I believe the change in the act could be easier than what we might think . Then of course what action would Canada take then? Would Canadian Leadership then cancel the U.S. Coal Trains and export of Coal from B.C. Costing many more jobs and causing even more economic hardship for generations yet to come? Where does/would it end .

    Once again it appears that Canada needs World Class Leadership in Ottawa, a Prime Minister who we can count on, a PM with vision, wisdom, strength of character, and integrity .

    Unfortunately PM Justin has proven he is only a pretender, an actor, he is not blessed with any of those qualities, he is only blessed with the facade of posturing, symbolism and virtue signalling, that will not get us much when our country is trying to fight its way back from the disaster that is Covid – 19 .

    Where are the “States People Kind” ?

  46. BMCQ says:

    Not Sure

    The VOA link should be read by all on this Blog and every single politician at all three levels of government in B.C. and even more important the Prime Minister of Canada,
    without strong leadership and wise decision making we could find ourselves in very “Deep Water” with no way to reach the surface .

  47. Gilbert says:

    I can’t prove that the cruise ship ban is related to Keystone, but the announcement was made shortly after the cancellation of the Keystone Pipeline Project. The way the announcement was made (no consultation with the USA) was also very interesting.

    Was the Keystone Pipeline Project cancelled because President Biden is an extremely committed environmentalist? Let’s not forget that the USA already has lots of pipelines. I believe it was cancelled for three main reasons: 1) it was a campaign promise 2) it appeases the left-wing of the Democratic Party 3) many wealthy donors such as Tom Steyer are against the project.

    (Response: You get it! There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Biden and his advisors are very well aware that Canada did NOT consult or negotiate ..just imposed the total ban from our waters. VERY un-Canadian in style. And I think they’re smart enough to realize Trudeau government’s actions mirrored exactly the way Biden/US treated Canada on a project of such HUGE importance to Canada, economically and politically. h.o)

  48. nonconfidencevote says:

    I’m actually impressed with Trudeau.
    He’s managed to p!ss off the two biggest economies in the world.
    China and the US.

    He better hurry and get that snap election in the bag because the economic repercussions of his amateur hour theatrics……after blowing 350 Billion …….are gonna hurt.

  49. e.a.f. says:

    It maybe that the ban will become permanent give the pollution the cruise ships create. Would not be surprised if the were required to have sewage treatment plants on board and retain all things on board until off loaded at shore, in the U.S.A.

    Baker, those cruise ships may find they aren’t cruising the inside passage way, but rather out at sea and away from Canadian shores. “would not be surprised if we started reading about how much cleaner the waters are, etc……

  50. Baker says:

    BC’s inside passage is the most preferred and sought after route to Alaska.

    The only way cruise ships would be prevented from our inside waters, is if Canada maintains a ban on Canadian waters passage and I fail to see how they could accomplish that in non covid times. Both civil and maritime courts would quash that quicker than the lawyers could get into their briefs.

    Cruise ships have and use, sewage holding as you describe. Regulating it is another story.

    Canadian Vessel Pollution and Dangerous Chemicals Regulations allow, internationally compliant, treated discharge from “marine sanitation devices.” The result is one billion litres being dumped into BC waters annually.

    Cruise ships are only just now, converting to shore power so as to not be burning fossil fuels to generate power while in port. A system change they have fought for decades.
    The port of Vancouver was a leader in reducing port fees for ships using shore power.

    There is technology to convert sewage to dense solid waste, but there is no incentive to do so.

    In life, few things are as simple as they seem and there is no better example than this blog topic, which is far from retaliation.

  51. Not Sure says:

    So being cooped up I did some googling: “Passenger Vessel Services Act” and found this kind of worthwhile especially for the history.

    But I am no lawyer and I was still Not Sure why the legislation was so important so I changed my changed my search to “Should the Passenger Vessel Services Act be abolished and found this blogger who says it should be. And this was written a year ago at the beginning of the pandemic. We can imagine what this guy would say about the extension.

    Of course I did post this early saying that it would be difficult to get rid of the PSVA

    Which maybe makes this meeting and the side meetings between cabinet ministers worth watching.

    Any speculation on how it all turns out?

    Harvey, I still think the speculation of whether or not there was some kind of motivation behind the Trudeau decision is a distraction. I don’t know what else Canada could have done.

    (Response: Canada could have kept our ports closed BUT allowed US cruise ships to pass through Canadian waters, like freighters do … but didn’t; Canada could have allowed a technical stop at a Canadian pier, without unloading or loading any passengers or cargo … but didn’t; Canada could have extended the courtesy, as a good neighbour and closest ally, of consulting withy the US before announcing the total ban … but didn’t. Get it yet? Clearly something was very different this time … exactly mirroring what Biden dud to Canada just two weeks earlier. As for whether anything will change … i have no idea. Trudeau is chatting with Biden this week …will be interesting to see if its is PUBLICLY discussed (as opposed to private ambassadorial talks/complaints behind the scenes), but with an election not too far away, Trudeau can’t now look too weak by backing down. h.o)

  52. 13 says:

    I guess the West should be worried about the Biden Trudeau summit meetings. Two men both pretending to be environmentalists . Two hypocrites that are pandering to their base and ignoring parts of their countries that actually pay the freight and pay bills and create jobs and wealth.
    Trudeau has virtually nothing to lose as his support in Western Canada is virtually zero. If the USA decides to cancel whatever law is hindering the Alaska cruising season Van and Vic will take a huge hit with the economic losses. Horgan might have to start tossing skytrain/ gun laws/ and better daycare at the wall hoping for the distraction.
    Remeber Horgan is still building the TMX and site c dam. Horgan is also a bit of a hypocrite.
    Its fun to watch two leaders try be everything to everybody and both fail to be anything to anyone

  53. G. Barry Stewart says:

    On the American news programs, Sunday morning, it was revealed that the winter storms have hampered vaccine roll-outs… while production has kept pumping out the goods.

    This week’s meeting between Trudeau and Biden would be a perfect time for Biden to say, “Look, we’ve got a temporary surplus of vaccine, due to all that cold air you sent down to Texas. 🙂 How about if we send you a few million doses to help your cause up there?”

    A good way to perhaps calm the cruise waters?

    (Response: Will be interesting to see if it is publicly discussed: although often these things are dealt with in private, away from public scrutiny. h.o)

  54. Baker says:

    I won’t revisit the PVSA, other than to say it has been hotly debated, more than annually since WW II; often by bloggers and Facebookers with no understanding or firsthand knowledge of the nuances and ramifications; either way. It is a US domestic political minefield and I suspect a protectionist Biden government will avoid it for now.

    Now then, comparing cruise ships with more than 3,000 passengers and crew, to even the largest ocean going freighters with a crew of 20-30, is apples and sewing machines.

    So, let’s try to set Chicken Little aside for a moment and Keep it Real.

    Cruise season 2019 saw 288 cruise ships transit BC waters for a total of 431 ports of call.

    That accounted for more than one million passengers, plus crew, in our waters. Tiny little Victoria saw in excess of 10,000 passengers on multiple days throughout the summer.

    Canada does not need ANY cruise ships stranded in our waters with an outbreak of covid-19 or other transmittable diseases.

    If that were to happen would Canada have a “MORAL DUTY” to assist and stuff our ICUs with a bunch of international holiday makers?

    This could easily happen here:

  55. BMCQ says:

    I suppose it is fine to be alarmist in an attempt to vilify visitors from any country arriving in Vancouver or Victoria by any Alaska bound Cruise Ship but the facts tell us different .

    INDEED with the absolutely pathetic Roll Out And dismal numbers of the vaccines in Canada there should be NO doubt that almost any cruise ship passenger stopping in Victoria or Vancouver will have been vaccinated Long Before ANY Canadian who the disembarking passenger might interact with in any way .

    Please DO NOT forget Canada is lagging far behind, we are more than likel no better than number 50 in the world right now .

    It was about Dec. w that someone on this blog told me I would have “Egg on My Face” when I stated out that the Canadian PM and his Minions would struggle greatly with their roll out, so far I have not been required to wipe anything from my face .

    Trust me, ANY Cruise ShipPassengers or Crew stepping off of a ship onto Canadian land will have long ago received a two dose vax, unlike a very high percentage of Canadians .

    It never fails to amaze me how Canadians seem to Suffer from the “Canadian Superiority” Complex .

    Unless it an unforeseen unknown variant or unless a completely new Covid Virus developed on a cruise ship there will be no chance of that taking place .

    In fact the chance of that scenario taking place is about as remote as POTUS Biden finishing out his first term .

    Please make an effort to understand that the facts do matter and Canada is so far behind in vaccine roll out we think we are first .

  56. RIsaak says:

    Interestingly enough the main backroom Democrat beneficiary of cancelling Keystone seems to get a pass from all the commenting here. Berkshire Hathaway stands to gain share value from this, Burlington Northern & Santa-fe railbeds now will continue to be full of long trains of Alberta oil. Buffett has also been playing hunches with Alberta oil sands stock, first loading up just under a year ago & recently selling some. The economic implications are obvious, why do these facts get missed by the media?

    (Response: The media may have missed the specific Berkshire Hathaway impact because no gave them a news tip privately or issued a press release. But there has been mention that the Keystone cancellation won’t stop the oil flowing …just by rail instead of pipeline … a more expensive and more environmentally dangerous option. h.o)

  57. RIsaak says:

    Sadly, the media seems averse to investigating and connecting the somewhat obvious dots, and many legacy media outlets have become cap in hand govt. parrotts.

  58. BMCQ says:


    “Great Investigative Reporting” !!

    You and Harvey would make a great team !!

    Far too many in the media “Today” are incapable, unprofessional incompetent, inept, uncaring, complacent, poorly trained, disinterested, and not given direction by their masters/assignment editors, who might send them in the direction of a story to cover and investigate . I suppose too many of them are not really journalists no matter how capable they might think they are .

    Then of course there are those reporters who are possibly capable of doing a good/professional job but they are compliant and complicit and in bed with the Federal Liberals, yes they are more than likely Liberals themselves .

    I suppose there is a possibility that there are not enough real professional journalists to go around today, it is obvious that the ones that ultimately suffer are as almost always the case the Good Canadian Citizens and Tax Payers .

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