B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks about economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic at the B.C. legislature, June 17, 2020. (B.C. government)

B.C. Liberals criticize Horgan’s economic recovery plan for excluding tourism sector representation

The Economic Recovery Task Force began meeting weekly on conference calls in April

By Breanne Massey, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Columbia Valley Pioneer

Official Opposition B.C. Liberal Tourism Critics Doug Clovechok and Michelle Stilwell recently completed four digital town halls to learn more about the economic impacts of each region’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The tourism industry is flat out on its back,” Clovechok concluded after the June 10 meeting. “It’s on life support… and it’s clear that there’s absolutely no [economic] plan for tourism to survive so far.”

Clovechok who is the Columbia River-Revelstoke riding Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) also sits on the Select Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs. He has been advocating for B.C. Premier John Horgan to develop an economic recovery plan for the tourism sector and to include a tourism sector spokesperson on the Economic Recovery Task Force.

ALSO READ: B.C. ready for in-province travel, John Horgan says

The Economic Recovery Task Force began meeting weekly on conference calls on Thursday, April 2 with Premier Horgan, Finance Minister Carole James, Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Competitiveness Michelle Mungall with businesses such as the B.C. Chamber of Commerce, Vancouver Board of Trade, the B.C. Federation of Labour, non-profit sectors and First Nations.

“COVID-19 is not only a public-health challenge, but also an economic one. People and businesses urgently need support,” said Premier Horgan said in a recent news release. “We will be there to protect people’s health and give immediate relief during the crisis. This task force will help us keep in close contact with community leaders to ensure the steps we are taking now are working and to plan for a long-term economic recovery after the crisis has passed.”

ALSO READ: Cross-Canada group calls for reopening of travel, tourism

With nearly 70 participants from the Columbia River-Revelstoke riding raising alarm bells about their concerns for the tourism sector, Clovechok is adamant this issue demands more attention.

“We have to stress, it’s the single biggest impact the tourism industry has seen since the end of World War II,” said Clovechok.

Clovechok and Stilwell opted to run regional engagement sessions through B.C. to learn more about what small-and-large tourism operators need to promote “staycation travel” throughout their home province. Clovechok believes British Columbians need to feel safe, have some economic stability and some savings in order for the tourism sector to begin making a recovery in the long-term.

“There is a $2.5 billion GDP contribution from tourism to B.C.,” said Clovechok. “That’s more than forestry, more than agriculture and more than mining. This Premier is completely ignoring this (tourism) sector and the biggest insult is that he did not appoint anybody from tourism to sit on the board from tourism. It just boggles my mind.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

CoronavirusTourism

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

Just Posted

Handgun pointing complaint draws strong RCMP presence at Chilliwack residence Wednesday night

One in custody after brief standoff involving Emergency Response Team and canine unit

Iconic Chilliwack store passes clothing racks on to downtown neighbours

Chilliwack Mission Thriftstore given racks and fixtures as downtown store closes for good

Exercise and cancer to be explored via webinar

UFV’s Dr. Iris Lesser to lead Zoom event for cancer patients and supporters

Overnight closures for Vedder dike gates this summer rather than full closure

Working with anti-dumping and angling advocates, City of Chilliwack came up with compromise

Fiscal statement from the feds lacked clear plan for economic recovery: MP Strahl

While Conservatives backed emergency supports, it’s now time for ‘transparent plan to guide recovery’

B.C. identifies 20 new COVID-19 cases, travellers specified in count

Pandemic total 3,028 cases, 51 people from outside Canada

Mayors welcome rideshare expansion to eastern Lower Mainland

As of Thursday, Lyft is now offering service throughout Metro Vancouver

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

Hefty undeclared driver charges piling up, ICBC warns customers

Average extra penalty $2,971 after an at-fault accident

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

B.C. appeals judge’s decision to leave three clubhouses in Hells Angels hands

The province has filed two notices of appeal related to the B.C. Supreme Court decision

Conservation officers relocate Spirit bear known to roam northwestern B.C.

Bear roamed valley north of Terrace for many years

Most Read