A construction worker wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 is framed by Christmas lights, in downtown Vancouver, on Sunday, November 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

A construction worker wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 is framed by Christmas lights, in downtown Vancouver, on Sunday, November 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Op-ed: Together, for a brighter future for all British Columbians

“The fact that every British Columbian – whether they’re on the front line, driving a truck, in a leadership position or running a household – is dealing with this pandemic in their own way, but, at the same time, continuing to find ways to show compassion and help each other has been extraordinary.”

Eight months ago, the world as every British Columbian knew it changed. The greatest health and economic crisis of our generation has impacted each and every one of us. We’ve had to adjust our lifestyles, how we work and how we connect with those we care about. Many have lost their paychecks and, most tragically, some have lost their lives.

Every single British Columbian has sacrificed.

Despite these hardships, as organizations representing employers big and small, in urban centres and rural communities, what’s struck us most is the spirit of togetherness that has helped us through these challenging times.

The fact that every British Columbian – whether they’re on the front line, driving a truck, in a leadership position or running a household – is dealing with this pandemic in their own way, but, at the same time, continuing to find ways to show compassion and help each other has been extraordinary. People collectively caring for people – it’s that Team BC spirit that makes this province great.

That’s why, as we look to manage the next phase of the pandemic and the road to economic recovery, we need to seize that team spirit once again.

We also know we have other challenges in BC. We’re concerned about inequality and divisiveness. We’re troubled by homelessness and mental health within our communities. And we are worried about the impact climate change will have on our planet and our children’s future.

We recognize we don’t have all the answers, but what we do know is we want to be a part of the solution. Now more than ever, we need to collaborate and focus on ensuring BC not only survives this pandemic, but that we thrive.

It’s why our organizations are committed to doubling down on our efforts to work together. By employing the same collective approach that’s kept workers and communities healthy and safe, we can help people get back on their feet economically and socially and help our province and our communities move forward.

As our BC MLAs of all stripes return to governing in the coming days, we’re here to work with you. Whether it’s in continuing to fight the pandemic, lifting up our economy and growing opportunities for meaningful work, tackling climate change or ensuring our workplaces and society are inclusive and diverse – there’s a role for all of us to play and we are here to help.

We are committed to continue working in partnership with health officials, government, Indigenous leaders, workers and communities to create a better British Columbia for everyone. Because the workers our members represent – the grocery clerks, construction workers, restaurant owners, entrepreneurs, forestry workers, data analysts, mining engineers and more – are also our family members, our neighbours and our friends.

Time and time again, British Columbians have shown resolve and strength in coming together. By re-doubling our efforts now, we will get through this pandemic and build a brighter future for all.

Susan Yurkovich, President and CEO, BC Council of Forest Industries

Greg D’Avignon, President and CEO, Business Council of BC

Bridgitte Anderson, President and CEO, Greater Vancouver Board of Trade

Chris Gardner, President, Independent Contractors and Businesses Association

Michael Goehring, President and CEO, Mining Association of BC

Dan Baxter, Interim President and CEO, BC Chamber of Commerce

Bryan Cox, President & CEO, Canadian LNG Alliance

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Andre Robert won $500,000 through a Lotto Extra ticket on Dec. 23, 2020. Photo: Jeanne d’Arc Allard
Creston resident wins $500k through Lotto ticket

“I was surprised. I wasn’t sure if it was true or not.”

Amanda Parsons, a registered nurse on staff at the Northwood Care facility, administers a dose of the Moderna vaccine to Ann Hicks, 77, in Halifax on Monday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan-Pool
61 new COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Interior Health

Twenty-nine people are in hospital, seven of whom are in intensive care

Community mental health workers are in high demand, and a new program at Selkirk College will provide opportunities in this field. File Photo
Selkirk College to train community mental health workers

Twelve students will complete two courses enabling them to work in health and human services

Dr. Cori Lausen, bat specialist, has questions about logging in an unusual bat habitat near Beasley. Photo: Submitted
Kaslo biologist questions logging at unique West Kootenay bat site

Dr. Cori Lausen, a bat specialist, studies a population of bats above Beasley

Robbie Campbell lost his livelihood when the pandemic shut down Shambhala Music Festival. Instead, he spent part of 2020 working on a children’s book called Tulip that is now available. Photo: Submitted
In a lousy year, a Kootenay man was saved by a pink T-rex

Robbie Campbell became a children’s author after the pandemic cost him his livelihood

Syringe is prepared with one of B.C.’s first vials of Pfizer vaccine to prevent COVID-19, Victoria, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 caseload stays steady with 465 more Tuesday

No new outbreaks in health care facilities, 12 more deaths

New Westminster TV production designer, Rick Whitfield, has designed an office in a box for British Columbians in need of a private workspace. (BC Box Office photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. man designs ‘box office’ solution for those working from home

‘A professionally designed workspace on your property, away from the distractions of home’

Chilliwack ER doctor Marc Greidanus is featured in a video, published Jan. 18, 2021, where he demonstrates and describes effectiveness of various styles of masks. (Youtube)
VIDEO: Emergency room doctor runs through pros and cons of various masks

‘We’ve been asked to wear a mask and it’s not that hard,’ Greidanus says.

(Pixabay photo)
VIDEO: Tip to Metro Vancouver transit police helps woman 4,000 km away in Ohio

Sgt. Clint Hampton says transit police were alerted to a YouTube video of the woman in mental distress

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A woman types on her laptop in Miami in a Monday, Dec. 12, 2016, photo illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Wilfredo Lee
British Columbia government lax on cybersecurity practices, auditor reports

The audit did not highlight a specific threat, but it found breaches in cybersecurity are increasing globally

Cranbrook Food Bank coordinator Deanna Kemperman, Potluck Cafe Society executive director Naved Noorani and Sunshine Coast Community Services Society executive director Catherine Leach join B.C.’s new Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne on a video call about B.C. gaming grants, Jan. 19, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. gaming grants reorganized for COVID-19 priorities

Minister highlights community kitchens, food banks

(Pixabay photo)
‘Cocaine bananas’ arrive at Kelowna grocery stores after mix up from Colombia: RCMP

Kelowna RCMP recently concluded an international drug investigation after finding cocaine in local grocers’ banana shipments in 2019

A new video from NCCIH and BC Northern Health titled ‘Healing in Pandemic Times: Indigenous Peoples, Stigma and COVID-19’ was animated by Joanne Gervais. (Photo Provided By: NCCIH Archives)
VIDEO: Stigma against Indigenous people is a ‘social sickness’

A new short animated video is aiming to educate the public on the stigmatization

Most Read