People in the Columbia River – Revelstoke riding are furious at being “ambushed” by the decision to disallow in-person dining in bars and restaurants, says MLA Doug Clovechok.
“This issue is a big deal out here,” he said. “Our office is being inundated with phone calls and emails. This will hurt people.
“Food orders are already in for the long weekend. What about employees? How will they pay their bills?
“Instead of putting a support mechanism in place first, there’s no plan. They just expect the restaurants to absorb this. It’s frustrating.”
Clovechok says he is not being critical of Dr. Bonnie Henry, who he believes to be doing a stellar job.
But he does question why the restrictions are province-wide when areas such as the East Kootenay have very few cases. He has supported a regional approach to the health orders for some time now.
“Bonnie Henry is a scientist and is making her decision based on data, and the increased spread of variants of concern. But the Premier is not sharing data. We’ve had very few cases in Columbia River Revelstoke and Kootenay East, even with lots of visitors from other provinces. One shoe fits all does not work. Areas like ours should not be painted with the same brush as Surrey, all due respect to Surrey. It’s wrong on so many levels.”
Clovechok also points out that allowing people to dine on patios doesn’t make any sense in an area that had snow this week.
“We’re still in winter here. It would be the same concept to force everyone in the Lower Mainland to put chains on their tires. We are different here.”
He also has a problem with Premier Horgan blaming 20 to 40 year olds.
Premier John Horgan said Monday that case counts have been “unacceptably high” in the past 10 days, and it is particularly people aged 20 to 39 who are spreading the coronavirus.
“I’m hearing from millennials and they are offended by that statement,” Clovechok said. “Stop pointing fingers and blaming people. Don’t pit people against each other.
“People are truly angry at this decision.”
In the meantime, Clovechok says, if you are at all able, make it a point to support the industry.
“I encourage everyone to dine with takeout and support your local restaurants.”