The response to COVID-19 has devastated the economy in Canada, causing small businesses to shutter and forcing the layoffs of far too many hard-working Kootenay-Columbians. The devastation runs deep and it leaves two very important questions in its wake:
1. What can each of us do to secure our economic future in the short term and;
2. When can we begin the larger process of rebuilding so as to reclaim our way of life.
As we continue to make health measures a priority we must also begin to prepare for our economic recovery. Now is the time when we must begin to fight back against COVID-19 economically – for our families, for our communities and for our future. We need an interim solution that will allow us to begin the process of rebuilding our economy safely because at some point soon we will have to come out into the world if we are going to earn a living, pay our bills and begin the process of rebuilding. There is nothing, in that effort, that can replace the extraordinary power of Kootenay-Columbian workers. There is no government program that can distribute enough money to compensate for the demobilization of our small businesses and there is nothing that can replace the entrepreneur that puts their heart and soul into their business every day to employ their workers and serve their customers. Hard-working Kootenay Columbians are the solution to the re-building of our local economy and way of life. The time for rebuilding is now and I encourage each of you to begin in the short-term effort by choosing to shop locally and, wherever possible, place an order with one of the many restaurants who offer a take-out menu. This is by no means a fulsome list of solutions, however, it is a start and indeed we must begin.
Kootenay-Columbians continue to be outstanding warriors in the fight against the spread of COVID-19 and we must remain vigilant in that effort. We can and will slow and stop this pandemic in its tracks. While we are not through it just yet, we are beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel. With your continued diligence, in concert with the tremendous effort and sacrifices made by our front-line workers, we will see the end of this pandemic and the start of our economic recovery.