B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson on Wednesday called on the government to expand the scope of their COVID-19 restart plan, saying that it does not offer British Columbians the clarity and guidelines they had hoped for.
“People all across the province have stepped up and made sacrifices to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and we owe everyone a debt of gratitude for those continued efforts. But at the same time, people have been waiting patiently for a detailed economic recovery plan, which didn’t happen today,” said Wilkinson. “Parents still have no details about school or summer camps and small businesses across the province have no information about criteria for reopening or increased supports until then.”
On Tuesday, Wilkinson had sent a letter to Premier John Horgan with ideas of what can be done to help B.C.’s economy get back on track. It included temporary tax breaks, a short-term commercial rent relief plan and a freeze on any further additional costs that would hurt small businesses in the coming months. Unfortunately, today’s vague plan did not reflect those suggestions, he said.
“Hundreds of thousands of people are out of work in this province and countless businesses are at risk of closing their doors for good. What we saw from government today provided very few specifics and is leaving people with more questions than answers,” added Wilkinson. “Every day we hear from people struggling to make ends meet throughout our province. The plan announced today offered no new supports to help people struggling right now or provide them with the direction and guidelines they need to be confident in British Columbia’s economic recovery.”
The BC government’s four-phase plan laid out a timeline for recovery without any details of how the province will recover from the damage done to British Columbia’s economy by COVID-19.
“Government needs to be focused on getting businesses safely functioning again and rebuilding employment,” said Wilkinson. “Now is the time for government leaders at all levels to put aside ideology and act together to support both people and our local businesses. At stake is the future prosperity of British Columbia. This will not be easy, but I believe we have the people, the ideas, and the ‘know-how’ to get it done.”