Ravi Kahlon listens as John Horgan speaks to supporters during a campaign stop in Surrey, B.C., on Monday May 8, 2017. The British Columbia government is poised to announce details of a provincial restart plan on Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Ravi Kahlon listens as John Horgan speaks to supporters during a campaign stop in Surrey, B.C., on Monday May 8, 2017. The British Columbia government is poised to announce details of a provincial restart plan on Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Horgan: B.C.’s post-COVID-19 road map to be revealed Tuesday

Plan to restart B.C.’s economy to be revealed as COVID restrictions ease says premier

The road map that lays out the path for British Columbia residents to get on with their post-pandemic lives will be revealed on Tuesday, says Premier John Horgan.

Details will be announced of a provincial restart plan that benefits communities, residents and businesses after series of restrictions on gatherings, activities and travel since March last year, Horgan said Thursday.

“We’re confident that the plan we’ll lay out on Tuesday will be a positive one for all British Columbians, whether they are people of faith who want to get back to their temples, to their churches, to their gurdwaras, or people who want to get back onto the field and play a game,” said Horgan.

The province went back into health restrictions first imposed in March to slow the transmission of COVID-19 variants of concern in communities and bring down daily case counts that quickly rose above 1,000.

The restrictions closed down indoor dining, adult group fitness activity, planned indoor faith services and placed limits on non-essential travel.

Horgan said the restart will plot the direction ahead, but it will take time to reach the destination.

“All of that is just around the corner, but it has to be a slow and methodical approach,” he said. “We’re confident that come July we’re going to be in a much better place.”

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said the restart plan will outline the route the province will take, but people should not expect an immediate, full-scale return to pre-pandemic days.

“It’s not going to be everything at once,” she said. “It’s not going to be a light switch. It’s going to be a dimmer switch.”

A spokesman for B.C.’s devastated tourism sector said the industry wants restrictions lifted on non-essential travel that have kept people contained to specific health authorities.

“There have been a slew of cancellations to all parts of the province. There was a lot of business on the books that didn’t materialize,” said Walt Judas, Tourism Industry Association of B.C. chief executive officer.

The non-essential travel restrictions were deeply felt by tourism operators who saw fishing, golfing and weekend getaway business dry up, he said.

The tourism association wants to see provincial travel reopen next week, followed by increased interprovincial visitors and ultimately international tourists, said Judas.

B.C.’s impending restart plan was raised earlier Thursday in the legislature, with the Opposition Liberals calling for a structured economic plan to help businesses survive the downturns during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our businesses in B.C. are struggling,” said interim Liberal Leader Shirley Bond. “They need certainty and what they need from this government is to finally give them a plan.”

B.C.’s restart plan must include set targets and timelines for businesses, she said.

Economic Recovery Minister Ravi Kahlon acknowledged the hardships faced by businesses and B.C. residents and urged people to register for vaccinations and get immunized to help the province get back to normal again.

“People are tired,” he said. “This pandemic has been hard on everyone.”

COVID-19 case counts in B.C. have been declining in recent weeks as immunizations increase following record-high numbers of hospitalizations and COVID-19 infections.

On Thursday, there were 357 cases, the lowest number since mid-February.

The Ontario government announced Thursday a three-step reopening plan set to start on the week of June 14.

It said the plan to lift public health restrictions will be based on vaccination rates and other indicators.

Ontario also said it planned to reopen outdoor recreational facilities on Saturday.

—Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press

RELATED: B.C. parents with COVID-19 vaccine appointments can bring the kids

RELATED: Too early to set a date on loosening travel restrictions: Canada’s transport minister

BC politicsCoronaviruseconomy

Just Posted

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

North Cowichan’s committee of the whole have rejected staff’s recommendation to limit the use of fireworks to Halloween. (File photo)
North Cowichan rejects limiting fireworks to Halloween

Municipality decides staff recommendation would be unpopular

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

CVRD Area E director Alison Nicholson, right, hiked two hours to Waterfall Camp at the Fairy Creek watershed along with Comox town councillor Nicole Minion and Comox Valley Regional District director Daniel Arbour to meet with old-growth logging activists on Monday, June 7. (Submitted)
Cowichan Valley regional director visits Fairy Creek protest camps

‘They clearly communicated that they are committed to what they are doing’

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Karl and Stephanie Ann Johanson were thrilled to spot a pair of Sandhill Cranes in the Panama Flats this month, an unusual appearance for such birds. (Photo by Stephanie Ann Johanson)
WATCH: Sandhill cranes an unusual, joyful sight in South Island parkland

These birds don’t often touch down on their way between northern B.C. and Mexico

(V.I. Trail/Google Maps)
Now 90% complete, Vancouver Island trail forges new funding parnership

Victoria Foundation takes on Vancouver Island Trail Association; fund valued at $40,000

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Freighters have becomd abundant in the Trincomali Channel on the east side of Thetis Island.
Nanaimo ponders taking on waste from nearby anchored freighters

Vancouver-based Tymac petitioning the Regional District of Nanaimo to accept waste at its landfill

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Most Read