The Chamber continues to work on behalf of business to help the provincial government plan for a safe summer with fewer restrictions. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has had nothing but praise for businesses and their efforts to prevent transmission of COVID-19 among customers and staff. It's not surprising. Those of us in the business community understand the innovative work being done, especially by our restaurateurs and retailers.
Our message to government is that they don't have to think like a business — but they have to includes businesses in their decision-making. As BC's immunization plan ramps up and we reach the point when widespread transmission stops, better communication from the government remains vital.
For example, the rollout of complicated guidance around patios caught many restaurants off guard. The Chamber supports efforts of the BC Restaurant and Food Association to call for a better process that allows businesses to be part of the solution.
One idea is for highly effected sectors to have someone assigned to them who can serve as a direct connection between industry and the provincial cabinet. Dr. Henry has been tireless in her work to protect the public, but she should not be expected to manage the engineering specifications of outdoor patios across the province.
More than 40% of eligible adults on Vancouver Island have been vaccinated. We're getting close to putting the pandemic behind us.