MP backs local MLAs on regional approach to lockdowns
All of the East Kootenay’s senior government (provincial and federal) officials believe there should be a regional approach to COVID-19 lockdowns.
Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison March 31 issued a statement declaring: “I applaud local MLAs Tom Shypitka and Doug Clovechok for standing up to the provincial government regarding recent restrictions on restaurants. You can be sure that I will doing the same in Ottawa. There is absolutely no reason under the sun why our region should be treated the same, with regards to lockdowns, as the Lower Mainland. Our case count does not support it.”
Kootenay East MLA Tom Shypitka stated on social media March 31, “My favourite Pho place next to my office is of but one restaurant in Kootenay East that has been asked to “pivot” yet again due to the 11th hour business closure implemented on Monday. Our employees and employers are being impacted by COVID cases in the Lower Mainland. We have six health authorities (including FNHA) in B.C. for a reason. A regionalized approach to procedures and protocols make sense on so many levels. Why is our government not challenging and suggesting these types of hybrid systems?”
Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA Doug Clovechok noted on social media March 30, “Instead of putting a support mechanism in place first, there’s no plan. They just expect the restaurants to absorb this. It’s frustrating.”
Morrison pointed out Kootenay-Columbians have worked hard and curbed the spread of COVID-19 in the region.
“Your hard work should be rewarded with common sense provincial policies that allow for freedom of movement including safely dinning out, attending movie theatres, places of worship and more. The recent announcement makes no sense to our area and I welcome a letter from Health Minister (Adrian) Dix or Dr. (Bonnie) Henry showing the data that supports the need for new lockdown measures in the Kootenays and Columbia Valley up to and including Revelstoke” he said.
“We need evidence-based decision making if we are to shut down businesses that are hanging on by a thread. Shutting restaurants down with no notice when they have already purchased supplies for a busy Easter weekend is not a Canadian way to lead,” he concluded.
Lead image: The entry only and exit only system for customers at Kimberley’s Sullivan Pub. Image taken before most recent lockdown order. e-KNOW file photo