C-19 BULLETIN - July 17, 2020

Chair's Message

It is with mixed emotions that I announce my resignation from the TIABC board, effective July 24th. I have made the decision to leave my position at Rocky Mountaineer and join Westland Insurance where I will lead their growing mergers and acquisition team. As a result of this change, I regrettably need to step down from my role as TIABC Chair.

Suffice to say, these past few months have been an interesting personal journey of reflection and self-discovery. It certainly has reinforced to me the items that truly matter in my life – the health and safety of my family, being able to make a positive contribution every day, and ensuring the BC tourism industry is well-positioned to recover from the effects of the pandemic.

It has been an honour and a privilege to serve on this Board for the past 4+ years, and to work closely with such strong, passionate tourism leaders. I wish to thank all of our volunteer board members for their support and continued selfless dedication to serve the BC tourism industry. As well, I wish to thank the many tourism businesses, sector associations and DMOs who are proud members of our organization - your financial support enables TIABC to continue the very important work of advocating for our tourism industry.

I will be working with Vivek Sharma, TIABC's current Vice Chair, over the coming days to support his transition to the Chair role and will support the Governance Committee in the process of selecting a new Vice Chair.

Thank you,
Alroy Chan
Federal Government Update

On Thursday, Prime Minister Trudeau, announced a federal investment of more than $19 billion to help provinces and territories safely restart their economies and make Canada more resilient to possible future waves of the virus.

This investment, through the Safe Restart Agreement, will help address the key priorities, agreed upon by Canada’s First Ministers, for the safe restart of Canada’s economy over the next six to eight months. It will support measures to increase testing and contact tracing of the virus to protect Canadians from a future outbreak, and support the capacity of our health care systems, including services for people facing mental health challenges. It will also assist with the procurement of personal protective equipment to help essential workers, and in protecting the most vulnerable, like our seniors.

The agreement will also help get funding quickly to municipalities so they can deliver essential services that Canadians rely on every day, like public transit. In addition, it includes actions to help Canadian workers during this challenging time, such as ensuring the availability of safe child care to help parents returning to work, and providing income support for people who do not have paid sick leave so all Canadians can stay healthy.
BC Government Proposes Significant Changes to Workers Compensation Act

Earlier this week, the  Province announced  proposed changes to the Workers Compensation Act to "focus on improving supports for injured workers, while also advancing worker safety."

The key changes include:

  • raising the maximum annual salary amount on which workers’ compensation benefits are based from $87,100 to $100,000
  • authorizing WorkSafeBC to provide preventative medical treatment before a claim is accepted
  • giving powers to the court to issue WorkSafeBC search and seizure warrants that are appropriate for investigating workplace safety infractions
  • giving people a voice in serious workplace prosecutions and trials by using victim impact statements

Note about deferred premiums:
During the COVID-19 pandemic, WorkSafeBC is allowing businesses to defer paying their premiums for six months without penalty or interest. As well, WorkSafeBC is waiving premiums on wages paid to workers of employers receiving the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy for the duration of the program.

For more information on the proposed changes, please read the  BC Government News Release  and backgrounder at: news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020LBR0020-001278

What do these proposed changes mean for employers?
In an article dated July 14th, Mathews Dinsdale summarizes the potential increased costs to employers. Read the full article at: mathewsdinsdale.com/b-c-government-proposes-significant-changes-to-workers-compensation-act

WorkSafeBC looking for feedback on proposals
WorkSafeBC will be holding a virtual public hearing on proposed amendments to the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Regulation to be streamed live on September 30th.

The hearing will be streamed in two sessions, from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm and from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Details on how to view or participate in the virtual public hearing can be found at:
State of Tourism in Canada During COVID-19’ Dashboard

The ‘State of Tourism in Canada during COVID-19’ Dashboard 2.0, compiled by Twenty31 analysts, provides a monthly snapshot of recent global, regional and domestic tourism health and economic updates, and insights on the impact of COVID-19 on the travel and tourism industry’s path to recovery.

Insights are derived from a review of myriad global and Canadian media sources, associations, consultancies, and expert opinion from the tourism industry and government.

Twenty31 analyzes the current state and future potential of key drivers of tourism recovery, including the most important tourism channels – source markets, airlines, accommodations, tourism businesses, tour operators, OTAs, and travellers.
Download the report here or visit:
Apply for Post Media's Local Marketing Grant Program

Post Media and its local brands - Vancouver Sun and The Province - are accepting applications to its Local Marketing Grant Program. This grant is designed to help the local economy rebound by giving local businesses a leg up as they start to reopen. Grants ranging from $500-$15,000 per month per client are available for the months of July and August to approved businesses, not–for–profit and charity organizations.
Staging Events In Spite of COVID-19

As we enter the heart of summer Tourism Abbotsford realized things looked a bit different, and they couldn’t help but miss the usual buzz of events, gathering with friends over local beverages, and enjoying live music from some of their incredibly talented homegrown artists. They wanted to find a way to bring together the best Abbotsford has to offer in a safe and responsible way, while still providing entertainment to those who aren’t quite ready to join in person yet.

Tourism Abbotsford’s first Sun & Soil summer concert series presents a diverse mix of genres while supporting local artists, and highlights Abbotsford’s handmade and homegrown flavours. Locally grown and prepared foods, estate wineries, breweries, and cideries and countryside locations are featured select Friday evenings throughout the summer.

Sun & Soil invites people to attend in person or to tune in from the comfort of their homes.Read on to find out about each concert and how to get your tickets!
A Warm Welcome in Powell River
During a Pandemic

A beautification project spearheaded by members and friends of The Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Powell River is meant to bring the community together, according to members of the group.

A team of volunteers recently came together to help Rodmay Heritage Hotel manager Chris Tsai brighten up an area behind the building with multiple flower barrels. Chris has been Rodmay manager since moving from Vancouver in February and hasn’t been out to meet many people because of the coronavirus.

Chris said he has been left with an impression of Powell River he wasn’t expecting. “I was kind of surprised when I came here, because I was curious; I had never been here before,” he added. “We are very proud of the history of the building and the heritage. I am thankful.”

Baha’i secretary Marilyn Carey said the idea for the project came out of a conversation about helping out a new resident. “It is neighbours helping neighbours and we just thought it was a great opportunity to help somebody who is rebuilding our heritage,” said Carey.

“The most important thing within the Baha’i community is unity and service projects, just to recognize who provides services,” she added. “It’s nice to have some positive outlooks; it is a hard time right now with so much negativity, stress and worry.”
Moving Van Webinars

Moving in a Livable Region (MLR) is hosting a new series of community dialogues entitled  Moving Van: Building our Region for a New Normal .  

3-part series of dialogues on the following themes:
Tuesday July 21 @ 3:30 pm (PT)
What are the most important decision making factors that will influence whether you physically partake in an activity like work, school, or recreation? How are you looking to move about now? What's safe now and what do we need to change to ensure we're safer in the long run?   These are the questions we will be exploring with you and with experts in the mobility space. 

Monday July 27 @ 3:30 pm (PT)
Is density a bad word after COVID-19? Are we better off in sprawling communities instead? Does COVID-19 shift how we plan our cities? What does this mean for housing prices and cost of living? Is there still hope for reducing our GHG emissions?  These questions look at how the pandemic will affect our community planning in the future and will allow us to separate myths from facts when it comes to safety risks.

Friday July 31 @3:30 pm (PT)
Why was our public transit infrastructure under threat of financial collapse because of COVID-19? Are we funding our priorities sustainably? Has COVID-19 highlighted system vulnerabilities that organizations have been pointing out for years?  This event will explore how we fund our public transit system, where the dollars go, and what other funding methods exist out there that we could learn from.
****NOTE: TIABC's C-19 Bulletin is now published every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Feel free to send us your ideas on what information would be valuable for TIABC to share through our COVID-19 Bulletin going forward. Drop us a line at info@tiabc.ca.