A new Economic Recovery Task Force will bring together leaders from business, labour, First Nations and not-for-profits tasked with ensuring the province’s economic response to COVID-19 is effective and responsive to the needs of British Columbians.
“COVID-19 is not only a public-health challenge, but also an economic one. People and businesses urgently need support,” said Premier John Horgan, in a news release. “We will be there to protect people’s health and give immediate relief during the crisis. This task force will help us keep in close contact with community leaders to ensure the steps we are taking now are working and to plan for a long-term economic recovery after the crisis has passed.”
The task force, which will help advise the cross-government economic response to the COVID-19 crisis, will take the form of a weekly conference call between Premier Horgan; Carole James, Minister of Finance; Michelle Mungall, Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Competitiveness; other members of cabinet and leaders from business organizations, including the Business Council of B.C., BC Chamber of Commerce, Vancouver Board of Trade, Surrey Board of Trade, the BC Federation of Labour, First Nations organizations and the not-for-profit sector. After an introductory conference call last week, the task force will begin its work starting Thursday, April 2.
The task force will help ensure the benefits of provincial programs are reaching their intended targets and complement federal programs, and discuss ways to ensure the best possible information is available to workers and member organizations.
It will also explore issues around the designation of essential and critical services; child care and other supports for essential workers, and safe workplace operations for businesses operating now, as well as those restarting after the crisis.
Importantly, the task force will begin to discuss long-term economic recovery following COVID-19. It will provide participants the opportunity to advise government on economic impacts in their sectors and solutions for long-term economic recovery.
“COVID-19 is a huge challenge, but British Columbians can be assured their government has their back – and together we will get through this,” Premier Horgan said.
Task force participants:
- Premier John Horgan
- Carole James, Minister of Finance
- Michelle Mungall, Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Competitiveness
- Don Wright, deputy minister to the Premier, head of the public service
- Christine Kennedy, associate deputy minister, Office of the Premier
- Lori Wanamaker, deputy minister, Ministry of Finance
- Fazil Mihlar, deputy minister, Ministry of Jobs, Economic Development and Competitiveness
- Trevor Hughes, deputy minister, Ministry of Labour
- Greg D’Avignon, president and CEO, Business Council of BC
- Val Litwin, president and CEO, BC Chamber of Commerce
- Bridgitte Anderson, CEO, Vancouver Board of Trade
- Anita Huberman, CEO, Surrey Board of Trade
- Laird Cronk, president, BC Federation of Labour
- Chief Sharleen Gale, chair, First Nations Major Project Coalition
- Rick FitzZaland, CEO, Federation of Community Social Services
- Queenie Choo, CEO, S.U.C.C.E.S.S.
- Prem Gill, CEO, Creative BC