Premier John Horgan and Finance Minister Carole James say the government is asking for public feedback on how the government can spend $1.5 billion set aside for COVID-19 recovery.
People can share their ideas, experiences and priorities for the public consultation using:
- An online survey is the fastest and easiest way to provide answers to some important questions and give advice. Visit: http://gov.bc.ca/recoveryideas
- Respond to the paper, Building B.C.’s Recovery, Together: Have Your Say, which was released on Wednesday, June 17, 2020. Ideas and responses can be submitted to: recoveryideas [at] gov.bc.ca
- Participate in virtual town halls. British Columbians can learn more about the virtual town halls here: http://gov.bc.ca/recoveryideas
James said building B.C.’s Recovery, Together describes the values the government considers foundational for economic policy-making in the months ahead.
It also details the economic effects that COVID-19 has had on B.C., in particular the job losses, and how those losses have been felt across different communities.
James said half of all jobs lost due to COVID-19 have been in accommodations, food services and retail. She also said women, young adults and low-wage workers have all experienced relatively greater job losses.
According to James, 314,000 jobs have been lost since February. She said there is a glimmer of hope in employment numbers now but that doesn’t come close to mollifying losses.
James said there 29 per cent youth unemployment and women are 25 per cent more likely to have lost a job than a man.
Horgan said Wednesday B.C. has done an “extraordinary job” on COVID-19 but was hit hard by deaths. The death toll as of Tuesday was 168.
He also said he hopes Phase 3 will come soon after modelling data is shared next week.
As for extensions for B.C. benefits, Horgan said the government is developing new programs. They will be under the $1.5 billion the province has already earmarked.
Wednesday’s announcement is available on CHEK’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.
Live at 1:45 p.m. PT: Premier John Horgan and Carole James, Minister of Finance, make an announcement on how British Columbians can get involved in supporting B.C.'s economic recovery plans.
Posted by CHEK News on Wednesday, June 17, 2020
The province still remains in Phase 2 of its Restart Plan, with provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, emphasizing this week that a shift into the next phase will be gradual.
Phase 3 includes the reopening of hotels and resorts, the broader opening of parks and campgrounds, and the return of entertainment like movie theatres.
The Province of British Columbia has continued to look at ways to help businesses recover as well since the start of Phase 2 back in May.
In a press release on Tuesday, it was announced the BC Government would be allowing restaurants and bars to purchase liquor products at wholesale prices. This move was in an effort to help ease the operating costs for the hospitality industry – a sector that has been hit particularly hard as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Bonnie Henry, the provincial health officer, and Health Minister Adrian Dix will not be holding a press conference today. The numbers will be released in a written statement later in the afternoon.
Horgan said on Wednesday that he’s not convinced an inquiry is needed into long-term care homes in B.C. following the COVID-19 pandemic.
He also said he’s optimistic about summer travel and the possibility of heading into Phase 3. And he’s said he’s repeatedly raised the issue of bailout money for BC Ferries with the federal government but has not had a sympathetic ear.
With files from CBC