During a press conference this week in which BC Premier John Horgan announced he was extending the provincial state of emergency for another two weeks, he also alluded to the fact that details regarding the reopening of BC’s economy are coming next week.
During the announcement, Horgan said he’s aware “everyone is looking forward to resuming normal activity … and we want to see that as well.”
However, “it’s going to take resolute action by all of us to continue to make progress, rather than give up the progress that has been so hard fought for over the past month and a half.”
The provincial government, he said, has “a responsibility to provide confidence to British Columbians that the economy will be coming back to something resembling normal in the very near term.
He noted that “many other provinces have announced plans, and we will certainly be doing that as well next week.”
Horgan also spoke about the “new normal” and what that could look like, stressing that it will “be guided by the science of public health officials, and it will be a phased-in approach, as other provinces are doing, but it will also be different, because unlike other provinces, we resisted the call for a full lockdown of our economy.”
Instead, said Horgan, the focus in BC was on “how could we keep sectors operating safely, rather than shutting them down until such time as we could open them up again.”
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“It’s not just going to be the flick of a switch,” Horgan said, adding that the province is looking at how to “ensure that there are processes and guidelines in place so the public has confidence again that they can get back to a regular schedule of consumption whether that is buying goods and services — whether it’s to spend time on the leisure activities that are so important to all us.”
In order for that to happen, “we need to have a plan and we need to have full buy-in from all British Columbians,” he said.
“We’re focused on a slow, methodical, phased-in approach.”
He stressed that he was “not announcing today that the economy is going to go back to 60, 70, 80% of normal,” but rather “I’m announcing today that we are very close to that.”