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

Launched in January, Uplift Canada was founded by Tsawwassen resident Maggie Larocque. (submitted photo)
Surrey shelters get clothing collected June 26 by Uplift Canada

Book a pickup on website of the new non-profit, founded by Delta resident

‘Stay-at-home mom’ works to raise $25K to help Options build housing in Surrey

Tammy Bourelle boosts ‘Women of Options’ fundraising campaign, which ends June 30

Surrey Libraries will host a series of free contests and programs for teenagers this summer. (Malin Jordan photo)
Surrey Libraries offering series of free summer programs for teens

Writing contests, virtual programs scheduled throughout summer

Emergency crews responded to a large truck fire under the Alex Fraser Bridge around 8:20 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (Christine Tobias/Twitter photo)
Dog dies in truck fire under Alex Fraser Bridge

No people were injured in blaze that consumed two semi-trucks around 8:20 p.m. on Thursday, June 17

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

Bella Bella is on B.C.’s Central Coast, accessible only by air and ocean. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
B.C. provides $22 million for Heiltsuk development on Central Coast

Elders care home project, tourism, lumber mill supported

The federal government says it wants to ban most flavoured vaping products in a bid to reduce their appeal to youth. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Craig Mitchelldyer
Health Canada proposes ban on most vaping flavours it says appeal to youth

If implemented, the regulations would restrict all e-cigarette flavours except tobacco, mint and menthol

Seth Rogen’s vibrant orange sculpture was sold for $7,000 above Vancouver Art Gallery’s initial estimation at auction Tuesday. June 15. (Heffel Fine Arts)
Vase made by Seth Rogen sells for $12,000 at Vancouver auction

The B.C.-born comedian has a new pot habit and it’s paying off

BC Lions running back John White IV (3) runs with the ball during first quarter CFL football action against the Ottawa Redblacks in Ottawa on Saturday, September 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
BC Lions file trademark for new logo

Canadian Football League team files for new design on June 1

The remains of the Mid-Island Co-op in Whiskey Creek along the Alberni Highway on Friday, June 18, after a blaze the day before devastated the gas station. (Michael Briones photo)
VIDEO: Camper van explosion burns Vancouver Island gas station to the ground

Nine fire departments responded to the incident, no injuries reported

The Montreal Police logo is seen in Montreal on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. Some Quebec politicians are calling for an investigation after a video was released that appears to show a Montreal police officer with his leg on a young Black man’s neck during an arrest. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Probe called for after video appearing to show Montreal officer’s knee on Black youth’s neck

Politicians call for investigation after clip evokes memories of George Floyd incident

A vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is seen at a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, April 22, 2021. The website for a Broadway theatre showing "Springsteen on Broadway" said it would only allow guests "fully vaccinated with an FDA-approved vaccine" — Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
No Springsteen for you: AstraZeneca not good enough to qualify for Broadway ticket

Victoria area mayor among those unable to attend New York entertainment due to COVID-19 restriction

Most Read