B.C. Premier John Horgan on a conference call with religious leaders from his B.C. legislature office, Nov. 18, 2020, informing them in-person church services are off until further notice. (B.C. government)

B.C. Premier John Horgan on a conference call with religious leaders from his B.C. legislature office, Nov. 18, 2020, informing them in-person church services are off until further notice. (B.C. government)

B.C. tourism relief coming soon, Premier John Horgan says

Industry leaders to report on their urgent needs next week

B.C.’s tourism industry task force is getting recommendations for COVID-19 relief to the provincial government next week, and Premier John Horgan says a long-awaited $300 million in aid for small business and tourism will be sent out as soon as possible.

Horgan said Dec. 2 he has been assured by the task force chair, Vancouver Airport CEO Tamara Vrooman, that its recommendations will arrive next week, in time for brief session of the B.C. legislature that begins Dec. 7.

“They plan on issuing their report next week rather than waiting for the end of December,” Horgan told reporters. “That will give us precious days in the legislature to make any changes that that report may recommend.”

Ski resort owners are also in discussions with Health Minister Adrian Dix on how they can operate through the winter.

“We’ll keep those discussions going, the report will come next week, and we’ll take whatever steps we can to keep the industry going with liquidity, with access to staffing resources and retraining, and a whole host of other issues that I know will be in their recommendations,” Horgan said.

Just before calling the October election, Horgan rolled out his $1.5 billion “StrongerBC” plan to assist small business, with applications that opened during the campaign. The fund will provide from $10,000 to $30,000 in grants, with an additional $10,000 for qualifying tourism businesses. Applications are being accepted until the end of March, or until the fund runs out.

RELATED: Horgan defends election-delayed small business aid

RELATED: B.C. extends private gathering ban province-wide

Horgan appointed Delta North MLA Ravi Kahlon as minister of jobs, economic recovery and innovation, with his first task to oversee the program and carry on from there. But Horgan warned that with no end in sight to the public health travel advisory, within B.C. and beyond, there is a limit to what the province can do.

“We tried our level best in the summer to make sure people stayed in British Columbia,” he said. “They took their discretionary dollars and spent them around B.C. But as we come into winter in the depths of the second wave of COVID-19, this is a very difficult time for the tourism sector.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC politicsCoronavirus

Just Posted

An example of the forest land in the Port Renfrew and Fairy Creek area of Vancouver Island is shown on May 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne
Old-growth logging opponents launch hunger strike as arrests continue at Fairy Creek

Zain Haq says the hunger strikers will gather today at Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver

The City of Victoria is hoping to ring in the summer by celebrating local art and offering some distanced, live music to surprise people in parks, plazas and other public spaces. (Photo courtesy of the City of Victoria)
Live, pop-up concerts and local art being showcased in Victoria this summer

People will see surprise serenades at 16 locations throughout the summer

An example of the forest land in the Port Renfrew and Fairy Creek area of Vancouver Island is shown on May 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne
Old-growth logging opponents launch hunger strike as arrests continue at Fairy Creek

Zain Haq says the hunger strikers will gather today at Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver

Jada Benwell and Connor Larkey are the valedictorians of the 2021 graduating class at Parkland Secondary School. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Pandemic taught lessons in perseverance for North Saanich high schoolers

Parkland Secondary School to release 2021 grad ceremony video on June 25

The 14th annual Oak Bay Young Exceptional Star (YES) awards June 3. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)
Oak Bay celebrates its Young Exceptional Stars with outdoor award ceremony

Nine young people recognized in 14th annual awards

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read