BC wants your feedback on its COVID-19 economic recovery plan

Jun 17 2020, 2:24 pm

British Columbians are being invited to share their feedback as the provincial government “continues to build a strong economic recovery that works for people,” Premier John Horgan said on Wednesday.

“Throughout the pandemic we’ve been meeting with businesses, labour, First Nations, not-for-profits and more to get their perspective,” said Horgan during a press conference. “We’ve heard lots of good ideas, and we are taking action.”

Now, he said, “we want to hear directly from British Columbians to make sure the recovery works for them.”

The province said there are three main ways for people to share their ideas, experiences and priorities:

“The recovery is going to be a tough task, and we need to be open to new ideas and new approaches,” said BC Finance Minister Carole James. “At the same time, core BC values like equity, taking care of each other, sustainability, and reconciliation have not changed.”

These values, she said, “will take the form of more good-paying jobs, advancing reconciliation and meeting climate goals, and growing an innovative, resilient economy that works for people.”

Rebuilding the province’s economy post-pandemic, said James, “is going to be a massive job.”

Earlier this month, James said that since the start of the pandemic, 353,200 jobs have been lost in the province.

Back in March, Horgan announced the province’s $5 billion economic “action plan” was being put in place to support people and businesses in British Columbia amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The plan dedicated $2.8 billion to help people and fund the services needed to weather the crisis, and $2.2 billion to provide relief to businesses and help them recover. It also provides $1.7 billion for critical services needed in the province, including investments in housing and shelter supports, income and disability assistance programs, and crucial health services.

Of the $2.8 billion, the BC government said at the time it had dedicated $1.1 billion to boost the income of people affected by COVID-19.

This latest call for public feedback comes after the province partnered with business and labour leaders to build an economic stimulus plan and allocated $1.5 billion for economic recovery.

“We are at our best when we work together,” said Horgan on Wednesday. “And that’s how we’re going to move forward.”