THE BC Liberals on Tuesday urged Premier John Horgan and the NDP to immediately engage with the federal government and demand B.C.’s fair share of tourism investment after $46 million in funding was given to Quebec and Atlantic Canada.
“How is it that other provinces have secured millions of dollars in federal tourism industry relief, but John Horgan hasn’t asked for the $20 million that’s due for B.C.?” said Leader of the Official Opposition Andrew Wilkinson. “This failure to step up and advocate for our province demonstrates a complete lack of leadership from this government.”
Since the pandemic began in March, the BC Liberals say they have listened to desperate calls for help from tourism operators, hosted industry-focused town halls and requested that B.C.’s Tourism Minister Lisa Beare provide a plan for the industry’s economic recovery. Additionally, the numerous letters written to the minister over the past months have yet to generate a single reply.
“As many as 130,000 jobs are expected to be lost in the tourism industry as countless businesses close and there’s still no plan in place from the NDP to help,” said BC Liberal Co-Critic for Tourism, Arts and Culture Michelle Stilwell. “Either this government is asleep at the wheel when it comes to helping our struggling tourism industry, or they simply don’t care.”
“What was needed months ago was an actual recovery plan and a phone call to the federal government as soon as this funding was announced. Our local economies keep getting left behind by the NDP who are more concerned with surveys than they are with taking action. It’s shameful,” said Doug Clovechok, BC Liberal Co-Critic for Tourism, Arts and Culture.
The B.C. Liberals said Horgan needs to pick up the phone and make it publicly clear to Ottawa that B.C. deserves a piece of the federal support provided to other jurisdictions.