British Columbians are taking the next step in BC’s Restart Plan with a gradual transition to Phase 3, including the safe and respectful return of travel and tourism within the province.
“Thanks to the hard work and sacrifice of British Columbians, and under the guidance of the provincial health officer, we are now entering Phase 3 of our four-phase restart plan,” said Premier John Horgan. “As we carefully turn up the dial on our activity, we can now look to travel safely around the province. But as we hit the open roads this summer, we must remember we are not leaving COVID-19 behind, and we need to continue to do our part to bend the curve and protect the progress we’ve made.”
British Columbians who wish to travel within B.C. this summer are advised to plan ahead and be respectful while visiting communities, especially smaller and rural towns. The provincial health officer has laid out travel guidelines for everyone travelling to and within B.C.:
pre-trip planning and research on available resources at arriving destination;
respecting any local travel advisories to isolated and remote communities;
no travelling for anyone who is sick, and if symptoms develop while travelling – self isolate immediately and contact 811 for guidance and testing;
practising safe physical distancing of two metres at all times;
spending time in small groups and open spaces; and
practising good hygiene, including frequent handwashing and cleaning.
“Like other activities during our COVID-19 pandemic, summer holidays and travel will be different this year,” Premier Horgan said. “We are asking British Columbians to be respectful of the communities you travel to and do your research before you leave. We will help people get the tools and information they need to navigate this new normal safely.”
Most of the businesses listed in Phase 3 of B.C.’s Restart Plan now have the guidance they need to safely begin to open.
WorkSafeBC, public health officials and industry representatives have developed guidelines for hotels and resorts, parks, the film industry and select entertainment, like movie theatres, and businesses in these sectors have already begun to open with COVID-19 safety plans in place.
“We've succeeded in flattening the curve by working together, but COVID-19 will continue to be in our province until we have an effective treatment or vaccine. By staying vigilant and following our foundational rules, we can safely do many of the things that we enjoy for the months to come,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer.
The government has also formally extended the provincial state of emergency, allowing Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, to continue to use extraordinary powers under the Emergency Program Act to support the Province's COVID-19 pandemic response. The state of emergency is extended through the end of the day on July 7, 2020, allowing government to continue to take the necessary steps to keep British Columbians safe.
“We’re extending the provincial state of emergency, while we work to keep the economy moving and provide more opportunities for B.C. businesses to welcome our communities back,” Farnworth said. “We’ve also introduced legislation that will allow us to put longer-term solutions in place, so we can continue to provide the support British Columbians need to get through this crisis.”
On Monday, June 22, 2020, government introduced the COVID-19 Related Measures Act, legislation to allow provisions created for citizens and businesses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to continue as needed after the provincial state of emergency ends.
For information on Phase 3 and guidelines and advice for safe travel this summer, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/COVID-19
British Columbians invited to have their say on recovery
British Columbians are invited to share their feedback as the Province continues to build a strong economic recovery that works for people.
“The pandemic has been challenging, but our province has already accomplished so much in this fight, thanks to British Columbians. We are at our best when we work together, and that’s how we’re going to move forward,” Premier John Horgan said.
“Throughout the pandemic we’ve been meeting with businesses, labour, First Nations, not-for-profits and more to get their perspective. We’ve heard lots of good ideas, and we are taking action. We want to hear directly from British Columbians to make sure the recovery works for them.”
There are three main ways for people to share their ideas, experiences and priorities:
B.C. in best shape for COVID-19 recovery, economists say
As part of BIV’s continuing coverage of the struggle to get B.C.’s economy back on track as the COVID-19 pandemic wanes, BIV reporters Glen Korstrom, Tyler Orton, Albert Van Santvoort and Hayley Woodin asked four of the province’s leading economic experts – Pierre Cléroux, chief economist for the Business Development Bank of Canada; Chulwoo Hong, senior economist with IHS Markit; Ken Peacock, chief economist with the Business Council of British Columbia; and Martin Thibodeau, regional president, British Columbia, of RBC Royal Bank – to share their perspectives on the province’s immediate and long-term prospects for recovery.
Province provides grants to support people, rural economies
The provincial government is providing nearly $14 million in grants for over 150 projects to support economic development and recreational opportunities for British Columbians in rural communities throughout the province.
“As someone who lives in a rural community, I know that rural B.C. is the backbone of our economy,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted every region of our province, and I’m glad our government is providing these one-time grants to lend extra help to people, communities and economies in rural B.C.”
The grants include approximately $5 million for 39 trail and recreation projects, and almost $9 million for 114 projects that support rural community development. Projects selected for these one-time grants were chosen from the following three categories:
The District of Tumbler Ridge is among the recipients that received a grant for trail and recreation projects. The district will use $500,000 to build a series of world-class mountain biking trails, ranging from beginner-level trails to provide skill-building potential and fun for all ages, to more-challenging cross-country and downhill trails.
Among the recipients of grants to support rural community development is the Williams Lake Indian Band (WLIB) that received $500,000 to build a cannabis production facility. The 557-square-metre (6,000-square-foot) facility will have 200 square metres (2,150 square feet) of growing space.
Project Vision: Local business makes our communities run. They pay salaries and taxes, support community events and sponsor sports teams. They are where we go to make our memories.
The Canadian economy is facing its most significant upheaval in a century. Locally owned businesses are at risk of closing their doors permanently. As COVID restrictions are relaxed, those same businesses need our support in recovery in the same way that they have supported our communities time and time again. That is why we are coordinating a spending kickstart at a local level.
Leading Influence, a national not-for-profit organization, is launching an idea called, "The Big Spend." The Big Spend is about challenging every Canadian wage earner to spend on purpose in a locally owned business in one day. It's a collaborative effort of community groups, chambers of commerce, business associations, etc. that are partnering together and leveraging their networks to support a crucial sector of our national economy. This is a non-partisan, non-political initiative intended to benefit communities across Canada. This investment in real lives during this challenging time will have a tremendous impact. It's something we can do. It's something we should do to help rebuild our communities in a big way.
Our goal through this initiative is to generate a $100 Million spend across our nation on July 25, 2020.
How The Big Spend Works:
• Make a purchase On July 25, be part of the Big Spend by making an intentional purchase at a local small business of your choice.
• Report your spend Add your name to our Big Spend list, so we can map spending across Canada and track the economic impact we're making together.
• Spread the news Tell your story or share photos of supporting small business on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram using hashtag #TheBigSpend, or by emailing your story to email@example.com
Key Dates: • June 12 - The Big Spend FB page goes live. • June 22 - www.thebigspend.com goes live. All promo collateral (social media, promo-video, etc.) will be available on this site. • July 25 - The Big Spend happens across the country!
Your involvement: • Please help spread the word throughout your network using the free promotional materials available on our site. • For more information, contact us - firstname.lastname@example.org.