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Response to CBC and Media Release this past week regarding our cancelled Bush Party Cruise

Posted in: News

The safety of our passengers and crew is of the utmost importance. Throughout the 2020 season we have been proactive regarding COVID 19 policies and procedures. We have corresponded regularly with Interior Health and BC Centre for Disease Control as to how to operate safely. We have decreased passenger numbers and implemented stringent cleaning policies and social distancing measures.

In response to recent, selective media coverage on CBC and Castanet that has caused much confusion, we would like to provide a timeline of events.

Bush Party was originally scheduled to perform on our boats on July 17, 2020. The maximum attendance was set, in line with the current COVID 19 policies at that that time, for a maximum of 50 people, 50 people, and 40 people per vessel (note: we operate three separate vessels).

As COVID 19 regulations changed alongside the increase in cases in recent weeks, we consulted Interior Health for direction on how and if we should run the event. As per their recommendation we lowered attendance numbers to 40, 40 and 20 people per vessel and introduced mandatory masks and social distancing requirements. We also independently decided to postpone the event until August 7th to allow us more time to evaluate the safety of running the event in a rapidly changing environment.

On July 19th we further lowered attendance numbers to 35 people or less per vessel, as per changing BC CDC recommendations. With the new regulation released by Dr. Bonnie Henry on July 27th we have now cancelled the cruise entirely.

The information used in recent media coverage stating a party of 140 people was not posted by Kelowna Cruises and did not reflect actual event numbers or safety measures in place, as outlined above.

Unfortunately, this coverage has been significantly damaging, including threatening and hateful communication to ourselves and to our staff. The 2020 season is already incredibly challenging for tourism businesses such as ours.

We are deeply saddened to share that the media coverage—which does not reflect the true operation of Kelowna Cruises—is jeopardizing the viability of the business we love, and one that supports raising our family in the city we love. We hope to continue to operate safely, and see our small business make it through these difficult times. Thank you to everyone showing us love and support this season!

Pease be assured that our operations are under direct guidance from multiple government regulating bodies, such as Interior Health, BC CDC, Transport Canada, Work Safe BC, and many others, with safety and responsible operating always at the forefront.

Mike Reddecliff

Owner, Kelowna Cruises

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