Premier Horgan hoping to open province to visitors from outside B.C. next week | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Premier Horgan hoping to open province to visitors from outside B.C. next week

Premier John Horgan
Image Credit: Flickr/Province of B.C.
June 17, 2020 - 2:54 PM

Premier John Horgan will wait until provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry’s modelling update next Tuesday before freeing up people from outside the province to travel in B.C.

“I’m hoping, next week, we can move to Phase 3,” he said during his weekly update today, June 17.

A big part of Phase 3 is to open up the accommodation industry by encouraging people to take vacations in B.C. and Horgan said he has already made some bookings for himself.

“We’re hopeful that the modelling we see next week will allow us to lift internal travel restrictions,” Horgan said. “And, when I say internal, that means within Canada. Dr. Henry and I have been abundantly clear that Canadians have the right to travel within our country. We have never proposed putting up obstacles between  the Yukon Territory, Alberta and British Columbia. Quite the contrary.”

He added that he was talking about domestic travel and was pleased that the border with the United States will remain closed well into July.

He also stressed that it’s still vitally important to follow safety practices and that there are still new COVID-19 cases being detected, particularly in the Lower Mainland.

But in order to move further in restoring the economy and recovering the 314,000 jobs that have been lost since February, he’s looking for input from residents in three ways.

There is an online survey you can take here. People can respond to a paper called Building B.C.’s Recovery that was released today. Responses can be submitted here. There will be a number of virtual town hall meetings. Get more information on those here.

Horgan and Finance Minister Carole James said the pandemic has exposed a lot of gaps in many areas of the economy and social services.

James said they want to know if, for example, people want more skills training and retraining or an increased focus on daycare, the tech economy or health care.

"The recovery is going to be a tough task, and we need to be open to new ideas and new approaches,” Horgan said.

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