Victoria Harbour Ferries will not be shutting down after all, after a new agreement was reached between the company and the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority.
This lease agreement was facilitated by the acquisition of the ferry company by the Ralmax Group of Companies, which now has majority ownership of Victoria Harbour Ferry.
The decision was made after the company’s original owners and the GVHA were unable to reach an agreement over the initial lease.
According to GVHA spokesperson Brian Cant, the Harbour Authority was in negotiations with the ferry company over the weekend.
“The hope was always that we’d have the ability to continue to have the ferry service in our harbour,” said Cant in a phone call with Victoria Buzz.
The details of the agreement, including the sticking points that lead to an impasse in the first place, are confidential.
Ralmax has acquired 55 per cent of the Victoria Harbour Ferry, a company that has been in operating in Victoria’s Inner Harbour for over 30 years.
The local parent company currently owns ten industrial businesses in connection with the Victoria harbour and the Salish Sea.
“We are grateful to have Ralmax’s interest and professionalism to help move us through this challenging season,” said Victoria Harbour Ferries owner, Barry Hobbis, in a statement.
“From crisis to opportunity in a weekend. This is a new day and we are all in this together.”
Hobbis will continue to run the day to day operations of the company.
The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority has deferred rent payment for all commercial tenants for the months of April, May, and June. Payments can be made by June 2021.
In addition, the GVHA is in the process of applying for the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program on behalf of their tenants.
This program provides 75 per cent in rent reduction for small businesses, with 50 per cent of these costs covered by the federal government, and 25 per cent to be covered by landlords.