This last year has reminded us of the importance of taking care of each other. Not just taking care of our family and friends, but our neighbours, and our fellow community members.
It has been one year since B.C.’s first joint statement about COVID-19 from Health Minister Adrian Dix and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. Since that date, our world has changed dramatically. We have all felt the impacts of the pandemic on our lives, our families, and our communities. By following the public health guidance and orders, we are each helping to keep countless other people safe.
Throughout, our New Democrat government has remained focused on taking care of people in B.C., while also working towards a strong recovery that works for everyone.
Last month, we announced training for more Community Mental Health Workers and Health Care Assistants across B.C. These training programs will lead to rewarding, high-demand careers, and create more qualified workers to provide care to those who need it most, including for our seniors in long-term care, and our neighbours dealing with addiction and mental health issues.
There’s the province’s Small and Medium Sized Business Recovery Grant program. These fully funded grants to businesses to ensure they have the support they need during and beyond COVID-19. Eligible businesses can receive up to $30,000 – and up to $45,000 for eligible tourism-related businesses.
To help artists in our communities who have been impacted financially by the pandemic, our government is creating a new $500,000 program through the BC Arts Council. It will help professional artists and those in the cultural sector to adapt their practices, deliver performances virtually or learn new skills like video editing. This will support those in the industry right now, and ensuring B.C.’s arts scene is there for everyone to enjoy in the future.
We’re helping people with developmental disabilities to find meaningful, stable employment, with $10 million in funding for Community Living BC employment support services. The funding will help people who may have lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic to find new employment while following pandemic safety protocols.
We’re working on a recovery from the pandemic, where our province comes back even stronger. B.C. is forecast to outperform all other provinces. Looking to this recovery is why Premier Horgan has asked me to work with our west coast neighbours like Washington State to collaborate on economic development projects like high speed rail to Seattle and Portland.
We are aiming for a recovery that works for all British Columbians.
As always, if you have questions or need any assistance with provincial COVID-19 supports, or other provincial issues, please reach out. My office can be reached at 604-936-8709 or firstname.lastname@example.org.