STATEMENT: COVID-19 Leadership Pledge

March 25, 2020

Bold Action to Protect People and our Province and Enable Personal and Economic Health

March 25, 2020 (VANCOUVER, B.C.) — In light of the generational public health and economic crisis the likes of which we have never before experienced, the Business Council of British Columbia has released its COVID-19 Leadership Pledge.

As the province’s largest employers, we see our employees, customers and communities facing growing anxiety and financial hardship compounded by the unknown future that awaits us, our families and places of work.

As business and community leaders, we believe we have an obligation to speak out and help address the needs of our employees and their families. We are committing to act in collaboration with government, labour and others across the province to protect the health and economic well-being of our fellow British Columbians, most particularly young people and those that are vulnerable in our society.

We no longer have the luxury of time. Bold leadership and integrated action are now required to slow and hopefully stop the transmission of COVID-19, support those most affected, and limit the impact on our health and economy.

Critical to defeating the catastrophic spread of the COVID-19 virus is to reduce its escalation as quickly as possible. The numbers of people tested, infected and, in some cases, sadly passing away will continue to increase for several weeks or more. But taking urgent action now should help to knock the transmission rate down to manageable levels.


  1. We support clear and definitive action by the provincial government to ensure clearly defined essential services sectors continue their uninterrupted operations. This is required in order to support the fight against COVID-19 and to protect public health and safety, subject to safe operating practices mandated by the Provincial Health Officer (PHO). No other non-essential operations and services in the economy should continue unless deemed appropriate by the PHO. All essential or non-essential businesses continuing to operate must do so under clear and enforceable standards that ensure worker and contractor safety, approved by the PHO and supported by WorkSafeBC review and enforcement.
  2. We support and will assist the B.C. government in taking strict and enforceable action to immediately ensure physical distancing is practiced in all public and work places, and to encourage individuals to shelter in place of residence until deemed safe by the Provincial Health Officer.
  3. We will work with federal and provincial governments to facilitate the rapid distribution of government financial support to sustain individuals who are laid off or unable to work due to the effects of COVID-19. This is in addition to the benefits and supports that many employers are themselves providing to mitigate the impact of layoffs and reduced work time for employees.
  4. We will take a leadership role by leveraging expertise, repurposing manufacturing, supporting purchasing and supply chains, and investing in research to address immediate health care system needs. This includes the development of therapies and vaccines to treat or eradicate the COVID-19 virus.
  5. We will support the development of solutions in real time by providing government with expertise drawn from the business community in areas such as essential services, finance, natural resources and energy, infrastructure and transportation, technology , agriculture, not for profits and Indigenous and rural communities.


At this critical time, we need to band together as a society to fight and win. The responsibility to defeat COVID-19 and its threat to us, our families and prosperity lies with all of us. Success starts with action and boldness," said Greg D’Avignon, President and CEO of the Business Council of British Columbia. "I have no doubt that the resiliency and innovation of British Columbians will prevail if we act quickly, consistently and work together.

About the Business Council of British Columbia

Now in its 54th year as the premier business organization in British Columbia, the Business Council of B.C. is a non-partisan organization made up of 250 leading and largest companies, post-secondary institutions and industry organizations from across B.C.'s diverse economy. The Council produces exceptional public policy research and advocacy in support of creating a competitive economy for the benefit of all British Columbians.

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