British Columbia is in phase two of our restart plan.
Nothing about the past few months has been easy. Asking British Columbians to stay home, miss important occasions like births, funerals and religious celebrations, close their businesses, and stay at least two metres away from each other has been very difficult. However, it’s necessary in order to protect the most vulnerable people in our society – our friends, family and neighbours who are immune-compromised, and our elders.
Thankfully we were successful in flattening the curve and limiting the transmission rates in British Columbia without having to close down our economy as far as many other jurisdictions did.
Now officials have begun to ease the restrictions and they are asking each of us to maintain the new habits we have learned while still limiting ourselves to 60 per cent of our pre-COVID interactions. From what we are learning about this awful disease we will need to re-organize aspects of our society to accommodate a “new normal.” It is critical that as restrictions are lifted, we move slowly and deliberately.
Local businesses need our support and they need the government and the public to be as responsive to the looming economic crisis as we were for the public health emergency. But, we have been successful in flattening the curve and keeping transmission rates low because British Columbians have taken the orders and recommendations seriously. We must treat the next phase with the same level of determination.
MLAs will be returning to our work in the Legislative Assembly later this summer. Assembly staff have been working on ways for us to do our work while keeping a safe distance.
My constituency office remains closed to walk-in traffic. We are assessing our office and planning a modified in-person service in the Landmark Building. We have been working hard to keep up with all the correspondence and advocacy for our constituency while working remotely. If you need our assistance please do not hesitate to email us at Adam.Olsen.MLA@leg.bc.ca or call 250-655-5600.
The B.C. Green Caucus meets regularly with the government through our Confidence and Supply Agreement. We have advanced to them exciting ideas for measures that will help our economy recover in the short-term but that also set British Columbia up for success in the future. We are not looking back. I will have a lot more to say about our specific policy ideas in the days and weeks to follow.
Please continue to follow all the public health and safety orders and recommendations. As Dr. Bonnie Henry has consistently reminded us, please be patient, and please be kind. Re-engage carefully and slowly.
I raise my hands in gratitude to all the frontline workers who serve our communities everyday. Thank you to everyone for doing your part to keep us all safe.
Adam Olsen is the MLA for Saanich North and the Islands