October 21, 2021, VANCOUVER, B.C. — Greater Vancouver Board of Trade President and CEO Bridgitte Anderson issued the following statement today in response to announcements from the Federal Government regarding a national vaccine certification system and changes to financial supports for businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The federal vaccine passport is great news. It will enable Canadians to travel with confidence and provide businesses with the ability to easily verify the vaccination status of individuals, regardless of where they are from. Given that all travelers will be vaccinated, it makes no sense to continue to have the pre-departure PCR test requirements for individuals entering Canada or to continue with a blanket travel advisory. We call on the government to reevaluate these and other barriers to reconnecting families and international economic activity. We look forward to a coordinated effort by governments around the world to align vaccination-certification programs and hasten a return to normalcy.
It is very welcome news that some sectors still struggling, like tourism, will receive broad-based support into 2022. We are pleased to see new supports for those impacted by the pandemic but as details emerge, there is a concern that some businesses and sectors might slip through the cracks. A recent survey of our members found that 34% were concerned about assistance programs ending. New eligibility requirements for programs are quite high while other sectors still impacted, like gyms, live events productions and others who are still suffering the impacts of the program may be left out.
We applaud the Canada Recovery Hiring Program extension and the changes to the thresholds to make the program more accessible. The additional program announced for businesses that face local lockdowns will increase confidence, especially as British Columbia is currently taking a regional and targeted approach to public health restrictions.
Overall, we are very thankful for the support provided throughout the pandemic and we appreciate the willingness of the federal government to work with, listen to and act on the needs and concerns of our local business and community leaders.”
About the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade:
Since its inception in 1887, the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade has been recognized as Pacific Canada’s leading business association, engaging members to impact public policy at all levels of government and to succeed and prosper in the global economy. With a Membership whose employees comprise one-third of B.C.’s workforce, we are the largest business association between Victoria and Toronto. We leverage this collective strength, facilitating networking opportunities, and providing professional development through four unique Signature Programs. In addition, we operate one of the largest events programs in the country, providing a platform for national and international thought leaders to enlighten B.C.’s business leaders.