Kamloops Mayor forms task force to come up with post-pandemic economic plan


Kamloops's economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic will be a slow and cautious one, according Mayor Ken Christian.

In a council meeting today, April 28, the mayor announced now is the time to discuss a community plan for economic recovery.

"I think that we should do that with the best advice that we can get locally, in terms of what pressures, some that maybe I haven't anticipated, on our economy might be," Christian said.

To this end, he has assembled the Mayor's Task Force in Economic Development and Renewal, comprised of 14 local experts from multiple economic sectors. These individuals will discuss the various issues at hand and how to solve them moving forward.

The mayor expressed the need for a plan specifically pertaining to the City of Kamloops, taking the unique elements of the local economy into consideration.

Businesses that are currently impacted by physical distancing measures will likely be dealing with these effects for the longterm, Christian said.

"When you consider the business community and those elements of it that really thrive on crowds, we're not likely to have crowds," he said. 

He cited a need to address issues related to the Arts and Culture sector, the Tournament Capitol Centre and the restaurant and beverage industry, adding that these areas will take some time to recover.

"The recovery is a cautious one, and one that has to be predicated on a very certain epidemiological response to the pathogen in question," he said. "As well as a capacity for outbreak investigation and follow-up."

The primary question for the task force is how to manage the period of time between now and when the community is able to get back to where it was.

Christian told council, and the task force, that he would like to see the discussion and groundwork done between today and the end of May 2020. He added that he would like to see a plan ready for August.

"I'm hopeful that we can start back in the fall with a positive attitude towards economic recovery and renewal."

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