Yesterday's news conference by BC Finance Minister Carol James serves as further evidence that we are living through surreal times. The numbers are staggering, with a potential operating deficit of $12.5 billion this year because of COVID-19.
It's difficult to add context to this number as BC is in the same situation as every jurisdiction in the world. The cost of getting through this pandemic needs to be measured against the damage that would have happened if governments were not able to backstop the economy. The Chamber has been supportive of government-relief programs designed to help businesses. The faster we can recover and get back to a thriving economy, the better off all of us will be.
"The pandemic has forced all of us to look closely at what we value and the kind of community we want for ourselves and our families," says Chamber CEO Bruce Williams. "The next few months will continue to be difficult but we have an opportunity to embrace changes that will make businesses more resilient and provide long-term economic prosperity."