With a new Transport Minister, a Vancouver Island politician is hopeful BC Ferries vehicle passengers can remain in their cars once more.

Justin Trudeau’s recent cabinet shuffle has moved former Transport Minister Marc Garneau to the Foreign Affairs portfolio, while Omar Alghabra will take over as Transport Minister.

Vancouver Island MP Alistair MacGregor said allowing people to stay in their vehicles makes sense.

“I know BC Ferries and the BC Government have done their part by trying to clamp down on any non-essential travel, but that being said, we (NDP) believe that this additional safety measure should be re-instituted to allow people who are concerned about the physical space up in the passenger decks, to respect physical distancing and allow them to stay down on the car decks,” said MacGregor.

Transport Canada’s regulation about closed vehicle decks is available in the Cargo, Fumigation, and Tackle section of the Canada Shipping Act.

MacGregor said he has a lot of support from his colleagues to allow vehicle passengers to stay put.

“I’ve raised this issue with the government, with his predecessor (Marc Garneau) and so have several of my colleagues as recently as the end of 2020,” said MacGregor. “With the ravages still going on with the second wave, we still believe it’s still a very pertinent issue.”

Transport Canada allowed BC Ferries passengers to stay in their cars back in March but rescinded that decision in late September.