VANCOUVER (May 12, 2020) – Official Opposition Leader Andrew Wilkinson is calling on the provincial government to help with funding to provide access to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and safety upgrades necessary for small businesses to reopen and protect their workers and customers.
“People all across B.C. stayed home to help stop the spread of COVID-19. We need to make sure they all have jobs to return to as soon and as safely as possible,” said Wilkinson. “We’re calling on the government to help with costs of PPE and safety infrastructure upgrades, like plexiglass shields, needed to keep workers and customers safe. Without these, many local small businesses and non-profits will be unable to reopen and countless British Columbians will remain jobless.”
“Now is the time to take advantage of WorkSafeBC’s over $2 billion surplus to keep workers safe from COVID-19. WorkSafe should reimburse employers for the cost of PPE because safety is critical to restoring the confidence of customers and employees alike,” concluded Wilkinson. “Hundreds of thousands of people are out of work in this province and countless businesses are at risk of closing their doors forever. Government needs to focus on getting businesses up and running again and protecting the safety of both workers and customers needs to be the top priority.”
Wilkinson sent a letter to the Premier also calling for clarity on WorkSafeBC guidelines for the reopening of businesses and organizations, a retroactive rebate or credit on WorkSafeBC premiums and payroll taxes, and the creation of a hub to expedite the sourcing of PPE and protective infrastructure to prevent price gouging.