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

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

lotto max logo
Are you the lucky winner?

A $1 million ticket was bought in Burns Lake for Friday’s Lotto… Continue reading

The 2021 Walk to End ALS took place in Burns Lake on June 19. A walk around the LDSS track and a draw for the quilt made by Jenny Pirie was organized by Ronda Payne for her friend Barb Wilson. Wilson was diagnosed with ALS in 2016. The draw raised roughly $6,300 from all across Canada, with tickets being bought from as far as Ontario. Burns Lake local won Patti Dube won the draw and the quilt. The money raised will now go to the ALS Society which in turn will be going towards more ALS research and for ALS Societies to provide support to other individuals and families living with this disease. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)
VIDEO: Walk to End ALS held in Burns Lake

The 2021 Walk to End ALS took place in Burns Lake on… Continue reading

Grad 2021 parade through the village. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)
VIDEO: LDSS graduation 2021 parade in Burns Lake

Lakes District Secondary School (LDSS) in Burns Lake had a graduation parade… Continue reading

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Golden Ears Mountains, captured in May 2021. (Black Press Media files)
2nd year of day passes required for entry into 5 provincial parks launches in B.C.

Pilot program seeks to protect the environment by addressing visitor surges amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Lincoln Mckoen. (YouTube)
Anglican bishop of the central Interior resigns over sexual misconduct allegations

Lincoln Mckoen was elected as a bishop of the Territory of the People region last year

The former Kamloops Indian Residential School on the Tk’emlups te Secwépemc reserve. (Allen Douglas/Kamloops This Week)
Tk’emlups preparing for archaeological work at B.C. residential school site where remains found

The 215 graves are, to the band’s knowledge, undocumented deaths for which it is still collecting records

Fans watch the warm-up before Game 6 between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens in NHL playoff hockey action Saturday, May 29, 2021 in Montreal. Quebec’s easing of COVID-19 restrictions will allow 2,500 fans to attend the game for the first time in fourteen months. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Two-thirds of Canadians say governments shouldn’t lift all COVID-19 restrictions

Poll reports Canadians who gained pandemic weight say they have gained 16 pounds on average

Paul Bernardo is shown in this courtroom sketch during Ontario court proceedings via video link in Napanee, Ont., on October 5, 2018. Teen killer and serial rapist Paul Bernardo is set for a parole hearing today. The designated dangerous offender, has been eligible for full parole for more than three years. Bernardo’s horrific crimes in the 1980s and early 1990s include for kidnapping, torturing and killing Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy near St. Catharines, Ont. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Greg Banning
Killer rapist Paul Bernardo faces parole hearing today; victim families opposed

Designated dangerous offender has been eligible for full parole for more than three years.

People look over the damage after a tornado touched down in Mascouche, Que., north of Montreal, Monday, June 21, 2021. Dozens of homes were damaged and one death has been confirmed. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
One dead and extensive damage as tornado hits Mascouche, Que., north of Montreal

Damage reported in several parts of the city, and emergency teams dispatched to sectors hardest hit

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

Most Read