VICTORIA (April 28, 2020) — Leader of the Official Opposition Andrew Wilkinson released the following statement today, welcoming the news the province is close to introducing a re-opening plan:
“The BC Liberal Official Opposition reaffirms our continued support of the provincial government’s efforts to contain the COVID-19 virus and keep British Columbians as safe as possible. We recognize the tireless efforts of Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, Minister of Health Adrian Dix, and their respective teams as we all deal with this pandemic. The health impacts of this virus have been devastating for many families, and our hearts are with all of those who have lost a loved one as a result of this pandemic.
“At the same time, as government moves toward a re-opening plan, this plan must clearly articulate a path forward that continues to address the immediate public health emergency facing our province and the globe, while also taking bold action to get our economy back on track and ensure we can rebound from the economic devastation this pandemic created.
“As we take these steps to revive our economy, our essential public health efforts must continue, and, as a former medical doctor, I know that our actions must be based on the guidance of the Public Health Officer.
“This will not be easy. There are so many areas of our economy reeling from this crisis and British Columbians are unsure about their future. Whether it is our restaurant and tourism industries, where thousands of people have lost their jobs, our natural resources sector, which is the backbone of our economy and now faces unprecedented losses, or our retail businesses that have rent bills due but no source of income — the scope of this problem is immense and continues to grow.
“With B.C.’s economy and communities heavily reliant on our small businesses, it is critical that government establish clearer safety protocols for our locally-owned small businesses across the province so that they can resume operations while protecting the health and safety of both their employees and customers.
“Keeping British Columbians safe remains our top priority, but now is the time for government to start articulating plans for economic recovery, which is critical as we navigate through this challenging time.
“The Official Opposition stands with every single British Columbian impacted by this virus. Over the coming days and weeks, we will be engaging directly with more and more British Columbians, listening to their issues and sharing their concerns with government as we have been since this crisis began.
“We will be bringing forward more ideas and suggestions on how to navigate this crisis and encouraging government to take brave and bold action on behalf of British Columbians who deserve nothing less than our very best right now.”