For Immediate Release July 14, 2020
VANCOUVER, B.C. — Today, the provincial government released an Economic and Fiscal Update for 2020-21. In response, the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade President and CEO, Bridgitte Anderson, released the following statement today:
“Collectively, British Columbians have worked hard and done well to manage through the pandemic. Even in the face of those best efforts, today’s update reveals the stark reality and depth to which the pandemic has damaged virtually every aspect of our economy.
Businesses, individuals, and the government’s finances have all been impacted, and it will take a concerted effort to climb out of this deep hole and restore economic activity.
The government should move swiftly and announce a plan to restore growth, led by the private sector.
The plan should increase the viability of businesses, foster innovation and digital technology, increase our attractiveness for private sector investment, support reskilling and upskilling the workforce, improve our infrastructure, support the return to work by enabling a return to school, and flexible solutions for childcare.
Support should include assistance for struggling sectors such as restaurant, retail, and tourism, and focus on British Columbians most impacted, including young people.
The government should refrain from implementing measures that add administrative burden, red tape, or costs on to struggling businesses.
We are in this together, and it will take every effort to make it through, and build a stronger British Columbia.”
Some details of the Finance Minister’s Economic and Fiscal Update on the state of the province’s finances include:
- 235,100 fewer jobs in B.C. in June compared to February. Greater Vancouver has lost 197,300 jobs.
- The unemployment rate in B.C. increased to 13.0% in June from 5.0% in February.
- B.C. real GDP could decline by 6.8% in 2020, according the ministry’s estimates, higher than the 5.4% estimated by the six private sector economists.
- The deficit is estimated to be $12.5 billion in the current year, with considerable uncertainty going forward.