THE BC Liberals said on Tuesday they are standing up to prevent further job losses and serious cost increases on small businesses in the middle of a pandemic by opposing Bill 23, the NDP government’s proposed Workers Compensation Act Amendment.
They join 21 business and industry groups, representing thousands of small businesses and employers throughout B.C. who on Monday expressed strong opposition to the legislation.
“Hundreds of thousands of British Columbians are out of work, countless businesses are on the edge of bankruptcy, and the NDP decide to make it even harder for people to get back on their feet,” said BC Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson. “The proposed changes to Workers Compensation will make it even more difficult for small businesses to bounce back from this devastating pandemic. It’s why we’re seeing groups ranging from the B.C. Chamber of Commerce to the B.C. Agriculture Council lining up to speak out against John Horgan and the NDP. When we said the NDP needed a recovery plan, we didn’t mean one that actually hurts the economy further.”
The business community has decried the lack of consultation and is accusing the NDP government of “doubling down on increasing fixed and variable business costs and adding uncertainty to BC’s investment climate,” instead of responsibly preventing further expenses for employers in the middle of a pandemic, said the B.C. Liberals.
“For the second time in less than a month, groups representing thousands of small businesses have written to the NDP calling out NDP Labour Minister Harry Bains for putting jobs at risk and piling more costs on to struggling small businesses. The NDP’s insistence on forging ahead with Bill 23 is based purely on ideology, not facts or what’s best for British Columbians,” added MLA John Martin, BC Liberal Labour Critic. “With unemployment rates already nearing 14 per cent and widespread concern about a second wave of infection, it’s hard to understand how the NDP can justify throwing British Columbians, struggling to keep their heads above water, an anchor instead of a lifeline.”
Among the signatories to the letter are the Employers’ Forum, Business Council of BC, BC Chamber of Commerce, Council of Construction Associations, Retail Council of Canada, Restaurants Canada, Tourism Industry Association of BC, Urban Development Institute, BC Agriculture Council, and many others.