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.”


“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.”

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

CoronavirusJohn HorganSurrey

Just Posted

Surrey city Councillor Brenda Locke. (File photo)
Locke seeks breakdown on what Surreyites get for taxes paid to Metro Vancouver

Surrey councillor aims to present motion to council tonight (Monday, June 14) asking city staff to do a cost/benefit analysis

SURREY NOW & THEN: Little Theatre’s 59-year history ends with big plans for move to Langley

A former church, the theatre building/property has sold for close to $900,000

The City of White Rock wants input from residents and businesses on parking practices and regulations in the city. (File photo)
Input sought for White Rock parking survey

City to develop new strategy based on data and best practices

Surrey council chambers. (File photo)
Surrey council to consider ‘public engagement’ strategies tonight

Council asked to endorse ‘Public Engagement Strategy and Toolkit,’ and a ‘Big Vision, Bold Moves’ transportation public engagement plan

Surrey City Hall. (File photo)
Surrey council to consider $7.3 million contract for street paving projects tonight

A city staff report recommends Lafarge Canada Inc. be awarded $7,326,667.95 for 15 road projects in North Surrey and one in South Surrey

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

Robert Nelson, 35, died after being stabbed at a homeless camp in Abbotsford on April 7 of this year.
Mom pleads for information about son’s killing at Abbotsford homeless camp

Robert Nelson, 35, described as ‘man who stood for justice, honour, respect’

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

Police arrest the suspect in an attempted armed bank robbery on June 2 at the Scotiabank at Gladwin Road and South Fraser Way in Abbotsford. (Photo by Garry Amyot)
Abbotsford bank robbery suspect who was stopped by customers faces more charges

Neil Simpson now faces total of eight charges, up from the initial two

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

Most Read