Ferry Status

An overtime restriction is now in place on sailings on Kootenay Lake until further notice. As a result, customers of Kootenay Lake ferries should prepare for unexpected sailing cancellations over the coming weeks. We aim to update this site as soon as possible. Please review the following for current delays or cancellations.

Saturday September 21: Due to staffing shortages, we are unable to meet safe sailing requirements on the Kootenay Lake ferry from Balfour after 3:00 pm. The last sailing on Saturday will be 1:10 pm from Balfour and 2:00 pm from Kootenay Bay Terminal.

Sunday September 22: Due to staffing shortages, we are unable to meet safe sailing requirements on the Kootenay Lake ferry from Balfour after 3:00 pm. The last sailing on Sunday will be 1:10 pm from Balfour and 2:00 pm from Kootenay Bay Terminal.

As per the essential service order by the Labour Relations Board, all ferries on Kootenay Lake will remain available for limited school or emergency-related transportation including medical emergencies. To meet the needs of those priority groups, three sailings per day (Monday-Friday only) will be provided at 6:30 am, 8:10 am and 4:30 pm. General public access on those three sailings will only be available as space permits after the priority groups have loaded. The overtime ban does not affect these three sailings.

Additional weekday sailings, and weekend sailings, will be available as scheduled unless overtime is required. Anytime we can staff the vessel without overtime, it will be in full operation.

The union remains in a legal strike position and could choose to expand job action if the employer remains unwilling to negotiate fair contracts.

Please check back for updates, and read more below.


  • Save our Service

    To our valued customers, community members and friends,

    We wish to let you know that, due to staffing issues, you should be prepared for unexpected sailing cancellations on the Kootenay Lake ferries over the coming weeks.

    We are at a breaking point. Crews have been doing excessive overtime for the last five years to enable the ferries to sail. In fact, overtime, retirees, and out-of-town temporary hires have been required to meet service levels on Kootenay Lake each day since June 2019.

    This is not sustainable and has to stop. We need a fair contract that fixes the long-standing operational issues and ensures the community has qualified crews to keep the ferries sailing. 

    As of September 16, 2019, our members have chosen to refrain from working overtime to highlight the staffing and training issues that have led us to this sustainability crisis. This will not affect the essential service order determined by the Labour Relations Board.

    We don't want to shut down the ferries. As fellow residents of this region, we depend on them like you do. We are trying to preserve the service for all of us.

    Job action is our only leverage to save the service and bring the employer back to the bargaining table. But it will only be successful if we have your support. 

    Two ways to help Save our Service:


    1. Contact your MLA and tell them that inland ferries need additional resources to guarantee a sustainable system.

    We’re the people who work for you every day, whether it’s raining, snowing or scorching heat. We’ve gotten you where you need to be for 70 years and counting. We’re proud of our work and we even prouder to live in the communities we serve.

    Help us keep our communities connected with a strong inland ferry service. We can’t do it alone. 

    Sincerely,

    Your friends,

    Jason W, Kootenay Lake Ferry; 
    James D, Arrow Lakes Ferry;
    Paul W, Francois Lakes Ferry

    Media inquiries: Jocelyn Wagner, BCGEU Communications Officer, 778-988-4849