Sidney-Anacortes ferry cancelled in Centennial year
The Sidney-Anacortes ferry route will not operate this spring, with service unlikely to be restored for the summer season. In a press release Tuesday, March 8 the Town of Sidney, British Columbia announced Washington State Ferries would not be operating the route due to a shortage of crew.
“It is disappointing that this important connection between the Peninsula and the United States will continue to be suspended. The Town was looking forward to celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the ferry service this year with the community of Anacortes, which has been a Sister City to Sidney since 1996,” said Mayor Cliff McNeil Smith.
This ferry service has historically played an important role in local tourism, stateside and in B.C.
In March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic shut down non-essential travel between the U.S. and Canada, putting a halt to the Sidney-Anacortes ferry route. The route has not resumed service since.
Regarding the issue of staff shortages, it was reported in October 2021 that as many as 200 WSF employees would lose their jobs because they chose not to take a mandated COVID-19 shot (many given religious exemption but no accommodation to continue to work). Other staff losses impacted state highway services under the WSDOT umbrella.
A fourth generation Skagit County native who was moved kicking and screaming from this island community in 1960. I finally reclaimed an Anacortes address in 1980, and I have been in constant celebration of my return since that time. Many of us who call Anacortes home love Fidalgo Island for its natural assets: among them are rugged beaches, pristine lakes, thousands of acres of forestland and some awesome views of the Skagit Valley and surrounding islands. Another element of my love affair with this community is its people, both natives and immigrants. They will “star” in many of my journal entries.
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