We’re half a month into 2021 – almost everyone is happy to have left 2020 behind. On so many fronts it’s been a trying and challenging time. But we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
British Columbians have done a great job keeping the virus from spreading, and from overwhelming our hospital system. The two COVID-19 vaccines are slowly rolling out. A lot of people tell me they are looking forward to getting back to normal – meeting with friends, getting on a plane, and living their lives in hope rather than fear.
Despite that light in the distance, there are still hurdles between us and the end of these times.
The first challenge is to keep doing what we’ve been doing to prevent transmission and to keep the vulnerable elderly safe – wearing masks, washing our hands, maintaining social distance, and avoiding necessary travel. None of it has been enjoyable. Some of it has been annoying. But if we can keep it up for a while longer, we’ll get to the end.
And that is where we are going to find the biggest hurdle – making sure our economy rebounds. Our economy in British Columbia, across Canada, and around the globe has taken an incredible hit from the pandemic. Too many people have fallen behind. And too many life-long investments have been lost.
That’s one of the issues I will be raising constantly when the Legislature resumes in Victoria – the need to get employers up and running. We need to do this for families and for our communities here in the Peace and across the province. And we need to rebuild our economy quickly and strongly because of the massive amounts of debt the province has taken on fighting the pandemic (not to mention the federal government’s record debt).
If governments fail to reignite our economies – from our wealth-creating resource sectors to the small businesses that employ the majority of people – we won’t be able to pay our debt and will face, as taxpayers, the consequences.
I know the people of the Peace are ready to roll up their sleeves and get this work done. For so long we have done the work that helps pay the bills for the entire province and we’re ready to do that again. We just need the provincial government to set the stage for that to happen.
My Constituency Office in Dawson Creek is open and ready to help anyone with any problems with provincial government services. If you’ve hit a roadblock, the office can make inquiries.. My new constituency assistant Shawna has been on the job since just before Christmas and is ready to help.
You can also share your thoughts and ideas by email at mike.bernier.MLA@leg.bc.caor through my Facebook page at MikeBernierBC, or by calling my office at (250) 782-3430, or 1 (855) 582-3430.