Cedar Valley Lodge, LNG Canada’s main camp at Kitimat, nears completion. LNG Canada has reduced its workforce as a result of COVID-19 public health restrictions. (Bird-ATCO)

Cedar Valley Lodge, LNG Canada’s main camp at Kitimat, nears completion. LNG Canada has reduced its workforce as a result of COVID-19 public health restrictions. (Bird-ATCO)

COLUMN: From flattening the COVID-19 curve to Team B.C. recovery

B.C. business leaders say they’re ready to restart economy

British Columbia has done a good job of flattening the curve in the ongoing fight against COVID-19 through the leadership of the provincial government and public health professionals, and because British Columbians have done their part.

This Team B.C. approach has worked to help protect the health of British Columbians. We now need to apply this same approach to advancing economic recovery safely.

As organizations representing employers big and small in communities throughout our province, we agree with the government and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry that a safe and phased return to work is the best path forward. We believe it is possible.

It’s now time for government and public health agencies to map out a phased plan to safely get British Columbians back to work. Working in partnership, it’s time for businesses across the province to do the same. In doing so, we all need to double-down on our pledge to keep workers and communities healthy as the number one priority. But, with thousands of people out of work and over a third of businesses saying their survival is in doubt – all of us need to take up the challenge and responsibility of economic recovery with the same sense of urgency and spirit of cooperation employed to attack the public health crisis.

RELATED: B.C.’s COVID-19 economic plan next week, Horgan says

RELATED: B.C. defers Crown forest stumpage fees for three months

BC businesses are committed to making sure we get it right. As we look to the short, medium and long-term re-opening of BC’s economic sectors – from small shops and restaurants, to construction, mines, pulp mills and energy projects – we will continue to build on the robust health and safety measures we have already put in place and will follow further Provincial Health Officer guidance. We will do so transparently and will communicate what measures we are taking to keep workers and the public safe every step along the way. We owe that to our employees, front-line workers and all British Columbians who have sacrificed so much to get us to where we are now. We also owe it to those who have lost their livelihoods and look to a brighter day ahead.

That day can, and will, come. Powering up B.C.’s main economic engines from professional services, to natural resources, construction, transportation, agri-food and accommodation – in a thoughtful and measured way – is the surest path to addressing unemployment, minimizing permanent business closures, and restoring revenues so the government can continue to deliver the services British Columbians count on.

Through this unprecedented crisis, British Columbians have rolled up their sleeves and shown we are serious about our collective responsibility to keep our families, friends and colleagues healthy. We have shown it can be done. In true Team B.C. spirit, we can do it again and seize the opportunity to ensure a safe economic recovery that leads to a brighter future.

Val Litwin, President and CEO, B.C. Chamber of Commerce

Susan Yurkovich, President and CEO, B.C. Council of Forest Industries

Laura Jones, Chief Strategy Officer, Canadian Federation of Independent Business

Greg D’Avignon, President and CEO, Business Council of B.C.

Bridgitte Anderson, President and CEO, Greater Vancouver Board of Trade

Michael Goehring, President and CEO, Mining Association of B.C.

Chris Gardiner, President, Independent Contractors and Businesses Association

Bryan Cox, President & CEO, B.C. LNG Alliance

BC legislatureCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Glacier Gymnastics head coach Sandra Long says she doesn’t understand why her sport is currently shut down while others are allowed to operate. Photo: Tyler Harper
‘It is bewildering’: Nelson sports leaders call out provincial shut down

Indoor group classes for activities such as gymnastics and dance are on hold

A man wearing a face mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19 walks past a mural in Vancouver on Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
212 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health over the weekend

A total of 490 cases remain active; 15 in hospital

Early steals opened the door for Team Nichol in a victory over Team Small on Thursday at Kootenay Savings Super League curling. Photo: Jim Bailey.
Super League Curling: van Yzerloo-Fines match goes down to wire

Kootenay Savings Super League goes every Thursday night at the Trail Curling Club

Photo:  Black Press Media
Greater Trail RCMP urge locals to stay off the roads

By noon there were four commercial tractor trailers stuck on hills in the Trail area

Terry Miller won the Rossland byelection.on Saturday.  Photo: Terry Miller
Rossland voters select Terry Miller as new councillor

City of Rossland releases results of advance voting and final voting day of council byelection

Seven Deers carved Shinning Raven Woman out of Labradorite harvested from the Canadian Shield. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Sculpture by Indigenous artist to be erected in Grand Forks

Civic leaders have rallied behind the project by Grand Forks’ David Seven Deers

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

Paramedics register patients at a drive through, pop-up COVID-19 test centre outside the Canadian Tire Centre, home of the NHL’s Ottawa Senators, in Ottawa, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020. A new poll suggests most Canadians aren’t currently worried that people in other countries might get a COVID-19 vaccine first. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Canadians not worried other countries will get COVID-19 vaccine first: poll

Forty-one per cent of respondents say they want the vaccine to be mandatory for all Canadians

Fossil finds at Mt. Stephen. (Photo: Sarah Fuller/Parks Canada)
Extreme hiking, time travel and science converge in the Burgess Shale

Climb high in the alpine and trace your family tree back millions of years – to our ocean ancestors

Kettle bells sit aligned in an indoor fitness studio. (PIxabay.com)
1 COVID-19 case at a B.C. fitness studio leads to 104 more infections, 6 school exposures

According to case data released by Fraser Health, one case of the novel coronavirus carries a big impact

Vehicles drive past a display thanking essential workers in Burnaby, B.C. on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
B.C. changing COVID-19 case reporting as virus spread continues

Manual counting takes more time, leads to errors

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Mask fundraiser helps make children’s wishes come true

From Black Press Media + BraveFace – adult, youth and kid masks support Make-A-Wish Foundation

Christy Jordan-Fenton is the co-author of the book Fatty Legs, which has been mentioned amid the controversy of an Abbotsford school assignment on residential schools.
Co-author of residential schools book condemns controversial Abbotsford class assignment

Children’s book mentioned amid controversy at W. A. Fraser Middle School

Kootenay East MLA Tom Shypitka takes over as energy and mines critic for the B.C. Liberal opposition. Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick (right) moves from health critic to assistant deputy speaker. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals pick critics to take on Horgan’s NDP majority

Interim leader Shirley Bond takes seniors, long-term care

Most Read