Former Green Party leader and local MP Elizabeth May would like to see additional financial support for local tourism sector. (Black Press Media file photo)

Elizabeth May calls for additional support for tourism sector

Green Party MP says local individuals and entrepreneurs are still ‘falling through the cracks’

Local MP Elizabeth May would like to see the federal government help local businesses through rent relief and hopes that locals will help pick up the slack from the loss of tourists visiting the region.

“I have been pushing for much better rent relief,” said the Green Party MP for Saanich-Gulf Islands. Rent is a significant fixed cost and really affects cash flow, she said, adding that available rent relief funding should go directly to tenants of commercial properties rather than their owners. “So there are ways to do this that could have made more sense,” she said.

While civil servants have worked hard to develop programs, the government’s approach has been piece-meal, she said in calling for additional relief for local businesses, specifically but not exclusively, the tourism and related industry. “Butchart Gardens needs way more support,” she said. “Our tourism operators definitely need more help.”

RELATED: Finance Minister Carole James ‘optimistic’ about B.C.’s economic recovery

With various travel restrictions still in place because of COVID-19, local experts have predicted a softer tourism market, a prediction May shares.

“We have to hope that friends and neighbours decide to really support our local businesses,” she said.

Overall, she has received positive feedback from constituents at large when it comes to the overall response of the federal government to the pandemic. This said, blind-spots remain, she added.

“There are still people falling through the cracks, there are still businesses falling through the cracks,” she said. “It’s particularly difficult in the service sector. I’m very concerned about our restaurants. As they are reopening, they have to maintain physical distancing and they lose half their tables. So I’m hoping that a combination of federal, provincial and local decision-making can increase the area that local restaurants have available.

With a federal budget looming, May expects additional help, but also notes that the overall recovery will depend on a number of factors, starting with the medical situation and the state of the U.S. economy.


Like us on Facebook and follow @wolfgang_depner

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewnewsreview.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Metchosin to test tsunami notification on Thursday evening

Approximately 80 to 100 residents in tsunami-zone

Sooke Crisis Centre closes doors

Services previously offered to be dispersed throughout community support groups

New affordable homes on the way in Sooke

Eight new affordable rental homes to be built at Hope Centre

CRD explores option to use Oak Bay Lodge for people who are homeless

Motion asks staff to work with BC Housing, Island Health on possibilities

Sidney asking tourists to respect health guidelines

Messaging says Sidney is ‘excited to welcome smart, safe, and respectful visits’

VIDEO: Victoria’s Raging Grannies call for end to public funding of for-profit senior homes

Organizer says COVID-19 has made senior home issues more apparent

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

Hefty undeclared driver charges piling up, ICBC warns customers

Average extra penalty $2,971 after an at-fault accident

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

RCMP disarm man experiencing mental health crisis

The male pulled a knife on officers and then held it to his own throat expressing a desire to die

B.C. appeals judge’s decision to leave three clubhouses in Hells Angels hands

The province has filed two notices of appeal related to the B.C. Supreme Court decision

Conservation officers relocate Spirit bear known to roam northwestern B.C.

Bear roamed valley north of Terrace for many years

Most Read