The company and Ceres Terminals Canada will design and run a cruise restart program that offers the testing services for Canada Place cruise ship guests for the 2022 season
Empower Clinics Inc said it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for healthcare services, COVID-19 testing, and logistics management with Ceres Terminals Canada, the operator of the cruise ship terminal at Canada Place.
Under the terms of the MOU, Empower and Ceres will design, implement, and maintain a cruise restart program that provides COVID-19 testing services and response for the Canada Place cruise ship guests for the 2022 cruise season.
“Today marks a critical milestone in British Columbia’s economic recovery, where the tourism sector that is so dependent on the cruise industry has been hardest hit by the pandemic over the last two years. With Port of Vancouver saying every ship generates nearly $3 million in direct economic activity for Vancouver alone, Empower is proud to be playing such a critical role in their return,” said Empower CEO Steven McAuley in a statement.
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“For our shareholders, this is a major inflection point for your Company from both a financial and industry validation point of view. This agreement is the culmination of intensive discussions and planning over the last 14 months, which was solidified by all of the strategic corporate, product and personnel developments during this time. This partnership serves as a template for Empower to actively support the safe return of the cruise industry throughout most North American ports,” McAuley added.
Ceres is the largest, fastest-growing cruise terminal operator and stevedore in North America, handling the world’s premier cruise ship and processing over six million passengers per year through cruise terminals they manage and operate.
In 2006, Ceres expanded its Canadian operations to become the terminal operator for the Alaska cruise run at Canada Place in Vancouver. During the 2019 cruise ship season, Ceres handled almost 1.1 million passengers and 300 vessels at the cruise terminal.
Empower Clinics will provide testing and logistics management for cruise lines exclusively out of Vancouver, for an estimated 1.2 million travelers per season. In 2019, Destination BC stated that cruise travel generated $2.7 billion for the British Columbia economy and provided more than 17,000 good-paying jobs.
In addition to testing, Empower and Ceres will work together on a comprehensive COVID-19 response for identified positive cases and passenger health screening.
The announcement is the latest in Empower’s ongoing work to expand the supply of available COVID-19 testing, both PCR and Rapid Antigen, across British Columbia through approved sites.
Empower said it is actively engaged with BC-based businesses of all sizes on their COVID testing needs.
Its subsidiary Medisure awaits approval from Health Canada for an interim Order (IO) approval to manufacture and sell MediSure Canada Lateral Flow Rapid coronavirus (COVID-19) Rapid Antigen Tests.