Liberals blast NDP for failing to secure tourism relief funds
The BC Liberals are calling for Premier John Horgan and the NDP to immediately engage with the federal government and demand B.C.’s fair share of tourism investment after $46 million in funding was given to Quebec and Atlantic Canada.
“What was needed months ago was an actual recovery plan and a phone call to the federal government as soon as this funding was announced. Our local economies keep getting left behind by the NDP, which is more concerned with surveys than it is with taking action. It’s shameful,” stated Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA Doug Clovechok, BC Liberal Co-Critic for Tourism, Arts and Culture.
“How is it that other provinces have secured millions of dollars in federal tourism industry relief, but John Horgan hasn’t asked for the $20 million that’s due for B.C.?” said Leader of the Official Opposition Andrew Wilkinson. “This failure to step up and advocate for our province demonstrates a complete lack of leadership from this government.”
“As many as 130,000 jobs are expected to be lost in the tourism industry as countless businesses close and there’s still no plan in place from the NDP to help,” said BC Liberal Co-Critic for Tourism, Arts and Culture and Parksville-Qualicum MLA Michelle Stilwell. “Either this government is asleep at the wheel when it comes to helping our struggling tourism industry, or they simply don’t care.”
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March, the BC Liberals have listened to desperate calls for help from tourism operators, including holding town hall meetings and asking Tourism Minister Lisa Beare to provide a plan for the economic recovery of B.C.’s tourism industry, a party media release noted.
“John Horgan needs to pick up the phone and make it publicly clear to Ottawa that B.C. deserves a piece of the federal support provided to other jurisdictions,” the release concluded.
Lead image: The tourism industry in the East Kootenay has been taking major hits during the pandemic. The image above shows the Boston Pizza/Best Western parking lot in Fernie, taken mid-afternoon on Saturday, May 2. Ian Cobb/e-KNOW photo