That comprehensive response helped allow B.C. to keep construction and natural resource sectors open during the pandemic — key sectors that were closed in other provinces.
Yet the government’s $5 billion pandemic fiscal plan has for businesses so far amounted to temporary tax deferrals that will come due this fall, and a heavy reliance on Ottawa’s more than $200 billion in pandemic aid.
“B.C., in relative terms, is throwing really toonies and loonies at the sort of support for the economy piece here, and they are essentially relying on the federal government’s balance sheet and federal institutions,” said Jock Finlayson, executive vice-president of the B.C. Business Council.
“They really have done very little. But I think this is a national crisis. We happen to have a national government that has a strong balance sheet and has a lot more tools in its tool kit for something like this, so I think it’s quite appropriate.”