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

The Mountain Market showcases local goods

The Mountain Market is held each Sunday morning in Fernie’s Rotary Park

Summer races kick off at Fernie Alpine Resort

FAR jumps into their summer programming with mountain biking and trail running races

Summer Stories Around Town program encourages outdoor reading in Elk Valley

With storywalks and clothesline stories in Fernie and Sparwood, everyone can get reading

School District 5 identifies funding needs in yearly budget report

The SD5 board presented three main projects that need increased funding in the coming years

From baseball stars to forest fires: Southeast Fire Centre water bomber has an interesting past

Tanker 489 is stationed in Castlegar this year, but in the 1960s it belonged to the L.A. Dodgers.

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

BREAKING: Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

NHL’s Canadian hubs offer little economic benefit, but morale boost is valuable: experts

Games are slated to start Aug. 1 with six Canadian teams qualifying for the 24-team resumption of play

‘Made in the Cowichan Valley’ coming to a wine bottle near you

Cowichan Valley has the honour of being the first sub-GI outside of the Okanagan

VIDEO: Vancouver Island cat missing 18 months reunited with family

Blue the cat found at Victoria museum 17 kilometres from home

Most Read