It’s been said too many times to count but bears repeating – the past year and a half has been difficult and unprecedented. We have had to stay apart in order to be able to safely come back together and the impacts have been financial, emotional and social.
Our first responders and frontline workers have made us incredibly proud and we owe them and their families our deepest gratitude. We must continue to support them in the months and years to come.
Our B.C. government has supported individuals, businesses, non-profits and local governments as they have had to adapt to an incredibly nefarious and deadly pandemic. Our support for the small business sector has been the strongest per capita of any province in Canada.
Hope does spring eternal and because we have sacrificed so much, we must honour that sacrifice by reopening in a careful and conscientious way. Our Centre for Disease Control, under Dr. Bonnie Henry’s excellent leadership, has laid out a clear path to opening our communities back up.
We are led by the data, not the dates. As people continue to get their first and second doses, cases and hospitalizations continue to go down, our plan will continue to relax the restrictions that we have lived under for so long.
We will be guided by the science and the incredible efforts of our health care workers – not by politics and polls as we walk this hopeful path together.
Our local businesses here in the Northwest have had to make sacrifices and adapt in ways unimaginable just a short time ago. Our faith communities, local volunteer organizations, schools and just about every walk of life have also had to change the way we support our communities. We owe them our thanks and continued support as we move ahead.
On a personal level this pandemic time has been hard on the mental well-being of many of our friends and neighbours. Those who were isolated and living away from family faced particular challenges and our government will continue to invest in mental health services while we know that the best support can come from a neighbour or friend as much as any program.
Let’s make sure we’re looking out for one another in this time of change.
Finally, I say thank you to all those who have received your vaccinations and all those who are giving them. There is no stronger measure we can take to keep ourselves and those we love safe from a virus that has killed and made sick millions.
Thank you, get registered, get vaccinated and let’s keep going!
Nathan Cullen is the MLA for Stikine