Without science, Canada crushes Alaska tourism economy months in advance - Must Read Alaska
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Sunday, June 13, 2021
HomePoliticsWithout science, Canada crushes Alaska tourism economy months in advance

Without science, Canada crushes Alaska tourism economy months in advance

Canada, months before cruising season starts, cancelled all port calls of cruise ships on its coast lines this year.

This is an economy crusher for Southeast Alaska primarily, unless Congress has the political will to pass a waiver of the Passenger Vessel Service Act, which would allow cruise ships to bypass Canadian ports. The act, as it is written, requires these vessels to stop in Canada on their way to Alaska.

The news of the cruise ship cancellations came after Southeast Alaska has already suffered one full year of economic devastation. Stories from small businesses in Juneau and Skagway reveal that many private sector Alaskans will not be able to make it another year. This is the year they will have to declare bankruptcy or leave the state and look for employment elsewhere. Even another PPP relief plan won’t save some of the tour operators or gift shop owners from Ketchikan to Fairbanks.

The news is also bad for Seattle, where many of the Alaska cruises begin. But the Port of Seattle was not particularly upset.

Port of Seattle maritime director Stephanie Jones Stebbins issued a statement Thursday, reacting to the Canadian government’s move.

“We respect the decision by the Canadian government to continue the suspension of cruise vessels in their waters,” Stephanie Jones Stebbins said to the Puget Sound Business Journal. “This impacts our homeported cruises which would stop at a Canadian port, per the Passenger Vessel Services Act, on their Alaska itineraries.”

Stebbin Jones, maritime director for the Port of Seattle, added that there’s “a possibility of a limited cruise season in Seattle this year,” but did not elaborate on what that would mean.

Can Alaska’s delegation get a waiver to the Passenger Vessel Service Act?

“Upon hearing the announcement, we immediately reached out to Canadian and American agencies to try to understand the rationale behind this decision—particularly the duration of the ban. We are exploring all potential avenues, including changing existing laws, to ensure the cruise industry in Alaska resumes operations as soon as it is safe. We will fight to find a path forward,” Alaska’s delegation said in a statement.

Juneau’s travel organization, Travel Juneau, sent a letter inviting the president and First Lady to visit Juneau, which voted heavily for Biden.

In other Biden news, on Thursday night, the U.S. Senate voted on an amendment to support the Keystone XL pipeline, which has been cancelled by the Biden Administration, costing thousands of jobs in both America and Canada.

Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) put forward the amendment, which is largely symbolic, since the president has the authority to cancel the project. Biden’s move to cancel the cross-border project has soured U.S.-Canada relations at a time when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau leads a minority Parliament that could be toppled at any time by the opposition.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • This stop in Canada could be avoided if co’s like Princess Cruise line would fly American Flags on their ships.
    As it stands most fly Bermuda flags as the Caymen Island tax haven allows them to escape paying millions in U.S. taxes each year…the system needs to be changed before we no longer have an American economy .

    • Steve., Jones act has more to do with where these ships were built. It was an act to shore up American Ship Building.

      • Robert, Jones Act applies to freight vessels such as barges and the AMHS but not Cruise ships which are covered by the similar (but earlier) Passenger Vessel Services Act. If the US waives the PVSA, and Canada then rescinds its boycott, such events would prove the boycott was retribution for Biden shutting down Keystone Pipeline (and nothing to do with the pandemic).

        • Hahaha sure that is it or maybe it is to protect the good citizens of American. Why would Canada ban in retaliation if the ships aren’t flagged American and large percentage of the crew and passengers are also not American. Time for your next conspiracy theory

          • Sorry “protect the good citizens of Canada”

    • Typical knee jerk reaction, while you read this on your iPhone made in China or your Samsung made in Korea. There are many reasons for a foreign flag on a large cruise ship, for instance In order for a ship to fly a US flag said ship must be built in the US. There are Cruises on US flag ships you can purchase now to go to alaska only problem they cost 4 to 5 times the price. Same thing would happen if your phone was made in US

  • I don’t understand the Maritime Union and I have certainly lost all faith in Seattle. Why in the &%$* would they like the fact that they aren’t working? Ships in port mean work, correct? Am I missing something here?
    .
    I don’t think Biden has a clue what he is signing. The Leftist members of his cabinet just shove papers in front of his face and tell him to sign it. 3 weeks into his job and he has crushed job hopes for thousands. I taste vomit in my mouth.

    • It is obvious you do not understand. So, yes, you are missing something here.
      How about if you try and reframe your question or questions in a coherent manner that might facilitate an adult discussion?

      • Joe Blows the man down again.
        Negativity up the wazoo. Try being nice, if you can. Your lecturing is getting noxious.

  • They try to blame this on the pandemic but we all know its retribution because of the XL pipeline. Joe Biden is the gift that keeps giving. The Liberals in Juneau only listen to fake news so they will believe its because of COVID and will ask for money from Biden. This money of course will not reach those impacted, it will go to the Democrats.

    • Hilarious there Jimbo! Keep em coming.

    • Any evidence Mr. Collman for your suggestion that the decision by Canada in regard to cruise ship visitation to their nation is related to the XL pipeline? Or is this yet another conspiracy theory in the making?

      • Joe G, evidence comes in many forms other than what court rules require. Sometimes we simply need to connect the obvious dots like Collman is doing. Let’s watch how this plays out. If the US waives the Passenger Vessel Services Act, and Canada then rescinds its boycott, such events would serve as compelling evidence the boycott was retribution for XL Pipeline (and nothing to do with the pandemic).

        • You realize that this ban also hurts Canada’s economy as well for the people in BC and the Maritimes, right? This is not retribution. Does that mean closing the land border for the last year is also retaliation?

  • A ship can still get to Alaska as there is water outside of Canada’s boundary line. I don’t see the big deal.

    • Look up the Jones Act and foreign flagged vessels. All the cruise ships are built by and registered to countries other than the United States

  • In 1982 Skagway was economically hit by Canadian mines shutting down because of low commodities prices which forced the closure of the White Pass and Yukon RR. Skagway at the time a company town the railroad was the employer. That forced many to flee for financial reasons. Today we again have extended the shutdown of the cruise industry via Canadas action. The difference is that in 1982 a cruise industry remained after commodities transportation stopped, not on the scale of 2019, but with a few ships a week some of the village survived in 82. What will we see this year in Skagway and other communities whose cruisers economy disappeared? I am doubtful another relief act will save people. I will hold his Fraudulency joe and our congress responsible.

  • Cruise ships are floating petri dishes. With all of the worldwide variants of COVID spreading this spring, Canada probably did the right thing. Otherwise, these ships could become floating coffins. Tourists will find other ways to come see our state.

  • This is ultimately a Cruise ship company doing. Cruise ship companies fly flags from Panama and the Bahamas to avoid paying income taxes. If they were willing to pay yearly USA income taxes (over $600 million a year for Carnival-2019) by flying USA flags- am sure Congress would find a way to make Jones Act accommodations. Their tactics do make good business sense.

    • It is not as simple as paying taxes. The ships must be built in the USA, employ Americans under US labor law, and make sure replacement parts and furnishings are also made in the USA. These cruise lines cannot dump their Italian-built ships and suddenly acquire American built ships in the next 3 months. Even if they could, they would no longer be an affordable way to vacation.
      Alaska’s ferries and the small ship cruises are domestic and can operate in Alaska waters. However, most travelers cannot afford the small ships, and the State of AK cannot afford to keep our ferries subsidized to the point of making them enjoyable to travel on anymore.

      • Thank you Melinda for your clarity on the subject.

  • This seems short sighted. If we repeal or amend the PVSA, Canada stands to loose a considerable amount of income in the future. Probably not as much as the Keystone decision though. Lots of us will pay for Bidens gifts to his activist supporters.

    • Ben: this has absolutely nothing to do with Biden. The PVSA and Jones Act has been the law of the United States of America for decades. In fact., the “Jones” in the Jones Act was a Republican Representative from the State of Washington who championed the enactment of this cabotage law decades ago.

      • Joe, PVSA is the relevant law; Jones act is for freight vessels only. How can you say this problem has nothing to do with Biden? Its so obviously retribution for XL pipeline. Biden told Trudeau he would discuss the XL project before taking any action but then unilaterally shut it down. Its all on Biden; but as you say, he doesn’t care about Alaska’s 3 electoral votes that went to Trump.

  • The Jones Act effectively killed the shipbuilding industry in the US. Where would these US flagged ships be built that some of you speak of? The Merchant Marine Act of 1920 or Jones Act is antiquated and although some of its protectionist intent still has value it has cost the US billions and likely trillions in economic opportunity loss and is long overdue for a dramatic revamp. Shameful that a foreign country’s action can kill our local economies – the Passenger Vessel Services Act of 1886 and the Jones Act give them this power over US sovereignty.

    • Fake analysis by Captain Noah. In fact, one of the reasons there are still a number of shipyards in the United States of America is due to the Jones Act.
      Where is the data that the Jones Act has cost the US billons or trillions in economic opportunity loss.
      Fake analysis and fake news by the Captain.

      • Look Joe, you just made Noah’s argument for him. You say, “one of the reasons there are still a number of shipyards in the United States of America is due to the Jones Act.” Think about that. Jones means freight companies are forced to pay twice as much for an American barge rather than Korean. If the Jones Act applied to cars, a Ford F150 would cost $200,000 with Toyota barred from competing. We all pay for a draconian, protectionist law that benefits a very few. Classic corporate/union/lobbyist corruption.

  • I really don’t think there is much of a connection between Keystone and the cruise ship decision. This is more likely a bigger factor: nationalpost com/news / how-ottawa-utterly-botched-canadas-covid-vaccine-acquisition

    Also remember it is not the Jones Act that governs but the Passenger Services Act of 1886.

    • The Jones Act should have been sunk 50-years ago. Where the hell is Don Young?

      • Don’t expect much from him.

      • Don Young would have so much clout with Biden. Heheh! As well with the rest of our delegation.

      • Don Young has been a champion of America’s maritime interests for decades. He actually knows what he is about in regard in regard to maritime issues that are vital to the economic and national security interests of the United States of America.

        • Actually, Don Young is more familiar with the highway systems in our country.
          eg. When he was House Transportation Chair he got hundreds of millions to construct a new Florida highway which led right to the front door of a billionaire’s shopping mall.
          Don ran his next three election campaigns on the billionaire’s campaign donations. The nerve, you say? The system works well for some. Yep. Don is a champion.

          • Off topic cheap shot.

          • ….and your evidence for a cheap shot…..is…?

    • A friend with deep Canada connections believes this is all about Biden’s cancellation of Keystone XL. The Province of Alberta will lose billions from the loss of Keystone.

      • I don’t believe the loss of “billions” to Alberta is real. The oil is still going to market via the existing rail system. It will arrive more costly and less safely to us Americans.

  • May be payback for Biden cancelling Keystone Pipeline to transport Canadian oil south to U.S. They may feel that it is shameful a foreign country’s actions can kill their National economies!

    • Yup

  • Suzanne

    Hope you’ve seen the latest on election fraud by Mike Lindell

    Watch at michaeljlindell.com

    It was shut down by YouTube and other places. Great idea to copy this!

  • There is a perspective here that I think is important. The Juneau voters who voted for Biden don’t like the cruise ship industry. They call it “industrial tourism.” The root word “industry” is as abhorrent to them as the word “profit.” It’s a safe bet they are right now talking with Biden people about coming after one or both of the mines that currently operate in Juneau. Juneau has two kinds of Democrats; state employees and remittance people, and they see no reason to put up with anyone who has to earn a living. That is your reality check for the week!

  • You get what you vote for Juneau. Nice work.

  • It’s funny to see people trying to blame this mess on theJuneau voters. Juneau, by itself, didn’t do this. Alaska went for Trump. The big blue states didn’t and we got Biden.

    Biden then declared economic war on Alaska. Biden, followed that and with no warning, killed 1000s of Canadian jobs via the Keystone disaster.

    Can’t blame Canada for slapping us back. Alaska just happens to bare the brunt of it.

    • It’s not their fault, but it is karma. Alaska went for Trump, but Juneau really wanted Biden. Well this is what that looks like. The Trump admin, had two constants: they didnt get into stupid foreign wars and they kept the economy humming. This admin doesn’t care about either of those things. There’s are: don’t piss off China or the radical left. Given that, there will be no help here to salvage this industry, while, had Trump been elected, there would. So, Juneau voted for Biden, he ended up winning, so they got what they wanted. This is what that looks like.

      • Juneau will pay its price in the collapse of its tourist industry.

        Tourism touches 1 out of every 3 jobs in Juneau. Many were on life support after last year. This year will kill them.

        The road to becoming Wrangell isn’t as long as people think

        • Yes, wake up SE Alaska.

  • Don Young has been a champion of America’s maritime interests for decades. He actually knows what he is about in regard in regard to maritime issues that are vital to the economic and national security interests of the United States of America.

    • I don’t see ANY champions right now. I see eco terrorists, fear mongers, and CCP agents dictating policy and none of our “elected” officials doing a damn thing to stop it.

    • Don Young is busy setting the record for longest serving house member.
      That alone is enough, it’s Alaska’s achievement as well. NOT!
      Sadly he may the best of our three Washington representatives.

    • When Don Young was Chair of the Committee on Resources in 1995, he headed legislation to gut the Endangered Species Act, baby Grey Whales and all. And he has done zip to promote escapement of King’s on the Upper Yukon during the past dozen years. And you claim he is a champion on maritime issues for the USA?

  • Too many of the tourist shop owners are out of state. Any profits are taken south with them every fall. Many of them bring their whole family up to run the shops.
    Alaska artists and craftspeople don’t benefit as most of the tourist shop’s “souvenirs” are made in China.
    I lived in SE and the cruise ship tourists bough very little money into local communities. They had paid for the cruise, which includes hand-held tours of each local … which were run by out of state owners also., mostly subsidaries of the cruise lines.
    About the only in state owned tours were air tours, as the licensing and aircraft were too expensive for just summer tours.
    The tourists were such an under-foot nuisance … couldn’t turn around without brushing up against one. Locals hated them.
    Many Alaskan’s don’t think it’s that much of a loss.

    • (subsidiary)

    • Exactly right. Many complain about Alaska being a resource extraction state and this industrial tourism is just another resource being mined and the vast majority of the wealth garnered from this extraction is sent out of state. At least the other resource extraction jobs pay well, the tourism industry doesn’t pay all that well.

    • Incorrect on several fronts. While the cruise industry does own many tourist traps, the bulk of excursions are run/owned locally. They provide jobs for many locals. The staff they bring in out of state pay rent, buy food, and overall trade with local businesses. Money directly into the local community.

      More, the cruise lines pay a wide variety of fees and taxes for the privilege of coming to town. Hefty enough to be a major source of fiscal year income for the community. Juneau, Hoonah, Ketchikan, Skagway, ect rely on these monies to survive.

      More: most excursion vendors promote local vendors in return. Smart business, good for the economy. Most of said local vendors are SE people, many native. Icy Strait, Allen Marine, Juneau Tram-all native owned. If tourism was such a losing proposal why did Hoonah and Yakatat go in on it big? Why does Ketchikan have a major chunk of downtown devoted to it?

      It is true locals anywhere hate tourism- even as they drive to the bank. SE is just more snotty about it than most.

      • Before tourism became big, there were few excursion businesses, the few were servicing mostly fly-in tourists.
        When the environmentalists got logging shut down, the SE economy tanked … which was around the time that cruise ships began focusing on Alaska.
        The ships started coming in big-time and the result was a large buildup of excursions, more and bigger airplanes.
        The buildup was massive on a SE scale, so much so that the Covid turn-down caught almost everyone unprepared. Hardly anyone had been in this newest business long enough to amortize their investments.
        This goes for all the other SE businesses which became almost totally dependent on the tourist industry.
        Basically, almost everyone ignored Murphy’s law.
        What the cruise ships brought to SE has been more than wiped out by the Covid down-turn. The net result is a negative.

        • Back in the 70’s there was only one steamship dock in Ketchikan, big enough for a single Princess ship.
          Now there’s room for a half dozen all at the same time.
          How’s that going to get paid for? Another bond to pay off a bond?
          As I said, the net result is a negative.

  • This is because of the XL pipeline. Canada warned Joe and his handlers not to cancel this. Canada has invested millions and has much at stake. Conspiracy theory?? Ask yourself this…If in a Canadian port no one would need to get off. The ships sail far off the coast so the virus cannot just jump ship to swim ashore and wreak havoc. Also, the BC coast is very sparsely populated. This is so obvious but if you don’t want to believe it, ok. Get back in line with the other sheep and keep your head down.

    • Yup. Payback, pure and simple.

    • First off Alberta and Canada invested billions not millions$ and Vancouver is not sparcely populated; maybe in Victoria but Vancouver is huge.

  • Alaska is not the democrats’ national park, so good I say. Juneau is against other economic options because they believe in the democrat socialism. Now let’s move the legislature to southcentral Alaska.

  • Ya think it might be because China Joe canceled the Keystone pipeline? Do you Demorats have buyers remorse yet.

  • So why not bypass Canada and go through southeast then to Valdez(buses),Whittier(trains and buses) or Seward(trains and buses). Also cut off all US maintenance funding for the ALCAN HWY.

  • The Canadians are ticked, and rightfully so, that Biden has cancelled the Keystone Pipeline project. It cost Americans and Canadians thousands of jobs – from the thousands of people working on the pipeline to all the hundreds of businesses that helped support the project such as steel companies, food services, hotels/motels, flight services, freight companies, and the list goes on and on. Biden is quickly killing employment and ramping up poverty and dependence on the federal government and it will only get worse. Worst President EVER. Just wait until they declare him incompetent and put Harris in as President and that shrew Pelosi in as Vice President. You think its bad now, the socialist/communistic destruction will run straight ahead. While they get richer the rest of this country will get poorer. All you have to do is look at Venezuala to see how quickly the richest South American country when from a powerhouse to what it is today. A place where only the rich have food, housing, etc while the rest of their citizens have no jobs, no food, and are dying on the streets. Let’s just hope that the Republicans stop sitting on their hands and start standing up for the people of this country. Otherwise you can kiss the country we know good bye.

    • Canadians aren’t ticked, only those involved in producing the dirtiest oil on the planet in Alberta’s tar sands. The Canadians have not been able to ship that crap to either of its coasts due to nobody wants it across their lands. Sure they would love us to take it off their hands but too many folks in US also don’t want that bitumen going over their aquifers for good reason. Further, if those Canadian oil investors want their bitumen refined they can construct their own refinery near the source-good luck with that. Heheh! Anyway, you get the idea and if you think it’s a good trade off to destroy an entire boreal forest in Alberta to produce the dirtiest oil on the planet that can’t be shipped over anyone’s land then I suggest you get going and lobby someone to try to shove it down some poor soul’s throat. Tough noogies to you Anne.

      • Anne is dead nuts on. This is nothing more than a retaliatory act by the Canadians. Biden axed the Keystone XL Project by fiat executive order withing 48 hours of taking his oath. This project would have brought long-term resource exports for Canada, as well as hundreds, if not thousands, of permanent jobs. Now, cruise ships can’t make their obligatory stop in Canada during 7 and 14-day cruises out of Seattle to Alaska. And that affects overall tourism in Alaska. Biden is an idiot AND a counterfeit president.

        • And you also believe Biden didn’t win election-that places you in a special place full of BS. Canadians have stopped cruise ships from transiting their waters along with not allowing most US visitors to their country that has not a thing to do with Keystone pipeline either. This is a Jones Act issue and is not going to be repealed for cos. that don’t flag their vessels in US and further incorporate outside the US to avoid our taxes. Now Don Young is suggesting CDC should be sued for its take on tour ships issues. Usually Don has a reasonable handle on these issues but this tells us that Don has lost touch. Heheh! Tough noogies to you Artfull.

  • Biden’s policies will be devastating. Immigration, gun control, supporting WHO which unsoundly said the Wuhan lab was not responsible for shutting down the World with death. Trump policies will be judged differently after Biden.

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