The People’s Steamship Navigation Company (PSNC) was incorporated in May 1884 their to compete with the Captain John Irving’s Canadian Pacific Navigation Co. (CPN). Both companies were headquartered in Victoria. In 1885 the PSNC purchased the side-wheel steamer Amelia, a side-wheeler built in San Francisco for the Sacremento service. The PSNC put her on the Victoria – Nanaimo route in opposition to Irving’s CPN steamer R.P. Rithet.
The competition was beneficial for passengers, as ticket prices dropped 25%. Irving agreed to withdraw R.P. Rithet from competition in favour of a 25% share of Amelia’s fares. When the E & N railway connected Victoria and Nanaimo in 1888 the sea route became uneconomical. In 1889 Irving purchased the Amelia for CPN’s fleet at auction. After a long and bitter battle between the two companies, with no assets, PSNC went out of business.
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