Congressman Don Young writes, "We cannot allow such a vital portion of our economy to be held hostage by a foreign country, in this case, Canada,"
The recent guidelines issued by Transport of Canada regulating cruise ships visiting Canada's ports have Alaska's representatives in Washington ready to act.
During the pandemic when Canada had banned cruise ships from visiting Canada, Congressman Don Young, Senator Lisa Murkowski, and Senator Dan Sullivan were able to pass legislation that provided a waiver of Passenger Vessel Services Act (PVSA) restrictions for cruise ships,
Under the Passenger Vessel Service Act of 1886, foreign-flagged passenger vessels carrying more than 100 people who operate between American ports must include a stop at a foreign destination. For Alaska-bound cruise ships departing from Washington State, that meant a stopover in Canada. With Canada closed, ships could not sail from Seattle to Alaska and back without a waiver. A temporary waiver was granted last year, and now there is a consideration for making the waiver permanent.
Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski said in a statement, "Alaska's economy and our communities should not be at the mercy of decisions made by the Canadian government, and I will do whatever is needed to ensure Alaskans can prosper."
Congressman Don Young was more forceful when he wrote in an op-ed piece, "We cannot allow such a vital portion of our economy to be held hostage by a foreign country, in this case, Canada."
Sensing trouble on the horizon with Canadian bureaucrats even before the new rules were released, the Alaska delegation two weeks ago introduced legislation to allow cruise ships to skip their legally required stops in Canada through February 2023.