Massive ‘floatel’ to remain in Nanaimo indefinitely after Squamish rejects floating work camp

The future of a floating hotel currently docked in Nanaimo Harbor is uncertain after Squamish council voted against allowing it to move there.

The massive ship, the MS Isabelle, has been a fixture at Nanaimo Harbor for months, after it first arrived in February from Estonia.

READ MORE: ‘I thought it was a cruise ship’: Large floating hotel to anchor in Nanaimo for months

The ship, previously used to house Ukrainian refugees, was intended to be a work camp for more than 600 LNG workers from the Woodfibre LNG company in Squamish.

However, on Tuesday, Squamish council denied Woodfibre LNG’s application to locate there in a 3-2 vote.

Councilors cited environmental concerns, as well as safety concerns for workers who would be on the ship, particularly women.

Councilors also noted that the LNG project itself was not a problem, but the use of a ship as a floating labor camp for hundreds of people was.

The MS Isabelle was expected to leave Nanaimo in April, but according to the Port of Nanaimo, staff have not yet been notified what will happen to the ship now.

With files from Skye Ryan of CHEK and The Canadian Press

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