MLA Column: Showing up for business who have showed up for us

Adam Olsen is MLA for Saanich North and the Islands

MLA Adam Olsen. (BC Green Party)

MLA Adam Olsen. (BC Green Party)

Adam Olsen

MLA for Saanich North and the Islands

In times of hardship and challenge humans show incredible adaptability, resilience and innovation.

While we are largely able to deal with the disruption and calamity caused by localized natural disasters or collapse of man-made systems, we have rarely had the dramatic challenge at a global level like we are experiencing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The impact of physical distancing and social isolation for individuals, communities, enterprise, businesses, institutions and governments is intense. We see the diverse web of interconnectivity of all our systems, and our weaknesses and vulnerabilities are exposed.

As we move through the initial aspects of the public health emergency it is critical that we continue to maintain the effective tactics ordered by Dr. Bonnie Henry, our provincial health officer, including physical distancing, frequent handwashing and only going out on essential business, that have helped British Columbia keep our transmission rates relatively low.

The pre-COVID-19 world is unlikely to return. With governments around the world looking toward a slow and measured lifting of restrictions two issues remain front and centre. First, we must not move too quickly so as to limit the consequences of future waves of infections. Second, we must take steps to ensure our communities remain whole.

READ ALSO: MLA Adam Olsen fears COVID-19 will overwhelm medical facilities on Gulf Islands

Small business operators in our villages and towns, arts and culture organizations, agricultural operations and their advocates have been vocal about the extreme difficulties their sectors face in the post-COVID-19 world.

However, through the same entrepreneurial and creative spirit that inspire building, growing and nurturing healthy communities and ideas many are adjusting their approach and evolving with the ever-changing public health and safety requirements.

Local, regional and national initiatives like the Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce’s Woo Hoo Wednesday (#woohoowednesday) to boost the Google reviews of local businesses or National Takeout Day (#NationalTakeoutDay) to support restaurants offering food pick-up or delivery services, are first steps forward.

Artists, musicians and the creative community are also finding new ways to connect with people. Online events like the Great Canadian Kitchen Party and #ShowcaseBC are utilizing virtual platforms to create a sense of connectivity in a time of social isolation.

These are just a few of the ideas that have caught my attention. More local food is being grown, new services are being organized, upstart collectives have grown out of necessity to provide products and services.

Let’s rally together for our communities by supporting these local initiatives. The global marketplace has some incredible benefits, but we are seeing its weaknesses. As we recover from this public health and economic crisis, investing more in local will mean we have more sustainable and resilient communities networking with their neighbours to create regions that have a greater capacity to support each other so we have to rely less on global supply chains.

READ ALSO: Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce warns of economic consequences from COVID-19

In the coming weeks and months those businesses and services that we have relied on to be there when we need them, will need you to be there for them. If at all possible, please choose local first.

Check out the local advocacy organizations such as the Chambers of Commerce website and social media accounts to get up-to-date listings of the businesses in your community that are open to serve you.

Thank you for doing your part to limit the spread of COVID-19 and protect our healthcare workers and system. Thank you for doing your part to support our local community.

Adam Olsen is MLA for Saanich North and the Islands

Green Party

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

Just Posted

An Oak Bay Police officer handed out five tickets for “fail to obey stop sign” and two tickets for using a cell phone while driving, all within two hours at King George Terrace on Jan. 11. (Oak Bay Police Twitter)
Man confronts unmasked group at Oak Bay Marina

Oak Bay police issue plenty of tickets in short King George Terrace visit

A 45-metre tall call tower is proposed for Westhills Stadium. (Black Press Media file photo)
New cell tower proposed for Westhills Stadium in Langford

Tower will increase capacity in congested network: staff report

Sidney Pier was one of two sites in Sidney as the Netflix series Maid shot in Sidney in late 2020. The show starring Margaret Qualley was one of 38 productions shooting in Greater Victoria. (Bob Orchard/Submitted)
Head of Greater Victoria film commission warns of lost economic opportunity

Kathleen Gilbert said without full funding, region will not be able to attract productions

Victoria Police Department vehicles outside the headquarters building. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bastion Square attack leaves victim with life-altering injuries

Victoria police looking for witnesses, information

NEW CUTLINE Pacific FC fans fill the stands during a game at the former Westhills Stadium
 Starlight Developments has purchased the naming rights from the City of Langford for the next 10 years.(Gazette file photo)

Pacific FC slid into third place in the league after defeating FC Edmonton 1-0 at Westhills Stadium on Saturday. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)
Langford sells stadium naming rights for $500,000 to Starlight Developments

10-year sponsorship deal largest in the history of Langford, says mayor

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

Nurses collect samples from a patient in a COVID suspect room in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver, Tuesday, April 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
5 British Columbians under 20 years old battled COVID-19 in ICU in recent weeks

Overall hospitalizations have fallen but young people battling the virus in hospital has increased

Canada released proposed regulations Jan. 2 for the fisheries minister to maintain Canada’s major fish stocks at sustainable levels and recover those at risk. (File photo)
New laws would cement DFO accountability to depleted fish stocks

Three B.C. salmon stocks first in line for priority attention under proposed regulations

Trees destroyed a Shoreacres home during a wind storm Jan. 13, 2021. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay woman flees just before tree crushes house

Pamala DeRosa is thankful to be alive

Gin, one of the Kantymirs’ two sheep. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)
Sheep start up ATV, sit in cars and go for walks in Salmon Arm

Until they bought two sheep, Ken and Karleen Kantymir didin’t realize just how social the animals are

Heather Lucier, a pastor at Kelowna Harvest Fellowship, speaks to an RCMP officer outside of Harvest Ministries on Sunday, Jan. 10. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Kelowna church fined 2nd time for violating public health order

Harvest Ministries in Kelowna has previously said they will fight the tickets in court

Emma Nunn from Alberni Valley Rescue Squad waits at the summit of Mount Arrowsmith for the rest of the AVRS rope rescue team on Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021. (PHOTO COURTESY DAVE POULSEN, AVRS)
UPDATE: Injured hiker among three rescued in the dark from Mount Arrowsmith

‘It was a very bad, very precarious spot to be able to locate them’

Powell River-Sunshine Coast MLA Nicholas Simons was appointed to the NDP cabinet as minister of social development and poverty reduction after the October 2020 B.C. election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. job training fund increased for developmentally disabled

COVID-19 has affected 1,100 ‘precariously employed’ people

B.C. driver’s licence and identity cards incorporate medical services, but the passport option for land crossings is being phased out. (B.C. government)
B.C. abandons border ID cards built into driver’s licence

$35 option costing ICBC millions as demand dwindles

Most Read