John Horgan (Canadian Press files)

John Horgan (Canadian Press files)

B.C. re-opening plan not like ‘flick of switch,’ Surrey board of trade CEO warns

Premier John Horgan rolled out four-step reopening plan Tuesday

Premier John Horgan outlined his government’s four-step re-opening program Tuesday with the caveat that B.C. doesn’t want to “lurch forward only to have to lurch back.”

“It’s been over a year that we asked everyone to do their part by staying apart,” he said. “And today we begin the road of bringing British Columbians back together.”

Horgan said it won’t be done all at once, but slowly, “based on where the science takes us, ensuring all the while that we put safety first.”

“I want to reassure everyone that there is still a lot of anxiety in the community around COVID-19 and that’s appropriate. This is a disease that has taken over 1,600 lives and it’s disrupted all of us for 15 months, and it won’t disappear tomorrow,” he said. “In the past 15 months we’ve been asking you to make sacrifices – we’re going to continue to ask you to make sacrifices for a few more weeks, but the light we’ve been talking about for weeks and weeks now is at hand.”

Surrey Board of Trade CEO Anita Huberman said Tuesday she thinks the plan is positive, if done carefully. It will be important to see how people conducted themselves over the Victoria Day long weekend, she noted. “It’s not over yet.”

homelessphoto

“The virus and the pandemic situation is not over yet. We still need to adhere to the health and safety precautions that are in place,” Huberman said. “We also don’t know what other variants are going to be at play in the future. We’re hearing about another type of variant from India and the UK that is more transmissible and so we still need to be cautious how we interact and interface with people.”

READ ALSO: Indoor dining, up to five home visitors allowed in B.C. COVID-19 restart

Surrey Board of Trade CEO Anita Huberman. (File photo)

Horgan said recreational travel across the province will be allowed by mid-June and people will be able to go to the movies or enjoy a sporting event indoors, and fitness classes as well, if all goes according to plan.

Step three is aimed for early July, and step four later in the summer. “Of course at that time we would be able to hold large indoor and outdoor gatherings, we’ll be returning to what will be close to normal based on where we’ve been for the past 15 months.”

“By Canada Day we can look forward to a safe and positive summer for everyone,” he said.

Businesses will also receive new guidelines moving into step three, Horgan said. “Step four, of course, is further down the road and we’ll leave that for another day.”

The first step began Tuesday with the so-called “circuit breaker” restrictions that were imposed six weeks ago being lifted, permitting in-door dining at restaurants and pubs, or enjoying a backyard barbeque with friends.

“The people who want to return to their place of worship, they can see that just around the corner. For people who want to see family members they haven’t seen for a while, that too is just weeks away,” Horgan said. But international travel will have to wait on federal direction, he said, “and I look forward to those discussions with my colleagues at the premiers’ table as well as with the prime minister.”

Huberman said for the most part local businesses were “very excited” to hear the plan, but there is some anxiety as well.

“Certainly it isn’t a plan where it’s like a flick of a light switch, where everything becomes open. It’s done carefully – it has to be done that way.”



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram  and follow Tom on Twitter

CoronavirusJohn HorganSurrey

Just Posted

Dooris Raad was last seen in South Surrey’s Ocean Park neighbourhood on June 7. (Surrey RCMP photo)
(James Smith photo)
North Delta crime beat, week of May 31

A selection of property crimes submitted weekly by the Delta Police Department

The Lower Mainland Green Team and students from Earl Marriott Secondary remove invasive plants from White Rock’s Ruth Johnson Park. (Contributed photo)
Green Team returns to White Rock’s Ruth Johnson Park to monitor previous work

Environmental volunteers, South Surrey students remove invasive species

People were lined up around the fields at a drop-in vaccine clinic at Newton Athletic Park on Tuesday (April 27, 2021), which is one of the high-transmission neighbourhoods that are being given vaccine priority. This clinic was one of at least three to open in the city on Tuesday. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Surrey’s weekly cases continue to drop, push for 80% vaccination rate citywide

BCCDC reports 263 cases for Surrey the week of May 30 to June 5

Friends of Bear Creek Park held a ‘yellow-ribbon event’ on Saturday (June 12, 2021), with protesters at 84th Avenue and King George Boulevard and 84th Avenue and 140th Street. People were asked to tie a yellow ribbon in their yard “to celebrate and to show support for our trees in Bear Creek Park.” (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Protesters hold ‘yellow-ribbon’ event at Surrey’s Bear Creek Park

People asked to tie a yellow ribbon in their yard to ‘show support for our trees’

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read