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

Fire Chief delivers update to Kimberley City Council

Somewhat of an odd year with pandemic, Prasad says

Interior Health reports three additional COVID-19 cases in region

The number of cases in the region since the beginning of the pandemic are now at 492

Conservative opposition critic tours through Kootenay riding on listening tour

Pierre Poilievre, the Tory finance critic, gathering local feedback on pandemic supports, recovery issues

Financial update on Bootleg Gap presented to Kimberley Council

The course was only able to open fully on July 17

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

70-year-old punched in the head in dispute over disability parking space in Nanaimo

Senior’s turban knocked off in incident at mall parking lot

Thousands of child care spaces coming to 35 B.C. communities

Province announces milestone in Childcare BC plan

Most Read