Furstenau: Will NDP’s support for tourism industry come fast enough to help businesses?

SONIA Furstenau, Leader of the B.C. Green Party, on Tuesday questioned whether the NDP’s plans to support the tourism industry will come fast enough to support the struggling sector during a campaign stop in Squamish. Furstenau was in the riding to launch the candidacy of Jeremy Valeriote. 

“This sector is a huge economic driver, accounting for $20.5 billion in revenue and contributed 161,500 jobs in 2018. But our tourism industry has been one of the sectors that has been hardest hit by the pandemic,” noted Furstenau.

“It was extremely disappointing to see the government’s plan put forward a  task force to develop tourism industry solutions. That industry consultation should have already happened months ago. It was even worse when they released the terms of reference for the task force the Friday before this unnecessary election that said solutions wouldn’t even be in front of the minister until December 31st, 2020,” she said.

“There are over 430,000 mail in ballots requested, and it could be the end of November before voters even know the outcome of this snap election. Businesses and communities need support now, not after John Horgan gets the unchecked power that he wants. 

“Many businesses likely don’t have the ability to wait that long for support. I think it essential that Horgan be clear whether any of the programs he announced in the recover plan  are providing support now that we are in an election.”