BC Liberals call for faster re-opening in regions with fewer COVID-19 cases

"It seems reasonable to at least consider tailored, regional reopening plans based on the specific case counts of each region"

The B.C. Liberal party is calling on the NDP government to consider a regional reopening plan, so parts of the province with lower coronavirus case counts like the Southern Interior can get back to work sooner. 

"It's clear, based on the evidence, that some regions and industries have been hit harder than others across the province. It seems reasonable to at least consider tailored, regional reopening plans based on the specific case counts of each region," said Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson. 

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"I've sent a letter to the Premier today asking government to look at lifting more restrictions in regions with lower case counts such as Vancouver Island, the Okanagan, the Kootenays, and the North to get people back to work and bring in much-needed revenue for business sooner."

Wilkinson pointed to the tourism sector in particular as one that should be reopened quicker in certain parts of the province. 

"Tourism, an integral part of our provincial economy which brings in about $20-billion in revenue and employs over 160,00 British Columbians, has especially struggled," he said. "We're hopeful that government will seriously consider a regional approach that will help mitigate some of the social and economic impacts this pandemic has created."

Wilkinson noted any decisions around opening certain parts of the province before others should be made in close collaboration with provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. 

B.C. is currently in Phase 2 of its reopening plan and has said discussions about Phase 3 are still at least a couple weeks away.

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