BC Premier and Finance Minister hosting public virtual town hall Friday afternoon

BC Premier and Finance Minister hosting public virtual town hall Friday afternoon
Province of BC
Premier John Horgan announces B.C.’s Restart Plan on May 6, 2020.

BC Premier John Horgan and Finance Minister Carole James are hosting a virtual town hall for the public Friday afternoon.

Both Horgan and James will be answering questions about B.C.’s Restart Plan.

READ MORE: Elective surgeries, restaurants and hair salons highlight first steps of BC’s reopening

The town hall starts at 2:30 p.m. PT and can be watched on the BC Government’s Facebook or YouTube page.

You can submit your questions for Horgan and James on the BC Government website here. 

During the live event, your first name, community and question will be shared with the Premier and Minister for the purpose of responding, the government said.

Horgan, along with Health Minister Adrian Dix and Dr. Bonnie Henry, the provincial health officer, released details about the province’s restart plan on Wednesday.

The plan has four phases. Phase 2, set to begin in mid-May, includes elective surgeries and the reopening of some businesses, with restrictions.

Phase 3, which is a broader reopening, may start in June but depends on transmission rates remaining low or declining.

Phase 4, with large gatherings and international tourism is contingent on wide vaccination, “community” immunity or broad successful treatments.

Earlier Friday, British Columbia Finance Minister Carole James says she doesn’t want to sugar coat what will be a hard road ahead as the labour force figures show the province lost a quarter of a million jobs in April.

Combined with jobless figures in March, almost 400,000 people were unemployed.

James says nearly half of the job losses were in food services and the wholesale and retail sectors.

B.C.’s unemployment rate jumped to 11.5 per cent in April, but remains below the national rate of 13 per cent.

James says it’s too early to say what impact the COVID-19 pandemic will have on B.C.’s budget, but her quarterly report at the end of the summer will give more details.

She says the province has strong economic fundamentals and the government is working to build a robust rebound for B.C.

With files from The Canadian Press


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