With the new restrictions putting thousands of businesses at risk and health officials warning of serious staff shortages due to sick employees, the NDP has been far too slow to deliver its promised COVID relief and business support. Although on December 23, 2021 they announced a $10 million relief grant program for businesses that have been closed due to new public health restrictions, almost two weeks later they still have not started accepting applications. This government already had a template in place for introducing support from the Business Recovery Grants introduced last year. Leaving our businesses without help for so long when so many are struggling is totally unacceptable.
And it’s not just financial support that this government is withholding from British Columbians. Despite calls for broader and more widespread use of rapid tests to protect our homes, schools, businesses and communities, the NDP continues to sit on a stash of more than a million unused rapid tests. More than 80 million tests have been sent to provinces, with many more arriving from Ottawa in the coming weeks, and BC is well behind other provinces that have used their rapid tests with much greater success.
We will get through this wave like everyone else, but this administration urgently needs to fill some of the huge gaps it has left in our COVID response. It’s time for the NDP to use every tool we have to get financial support for our businesses and rapid testing and PPE for our communities – and give British Columbians the resources and assurances they need to to weather this latest wave and plan for better times.
By Dan Davies, MLA for Peace River North