MLA Column: Showing up for business who have showed up for us

Adam Olsen is MLA for Saanich North and the Islands

MLA Adam Olsen. (BC Green Party)

Adam Olsen

MLA for Saanich North and the Islands

In times of hardship and challenge humans show incredible adaptability, resilience and innovation.

While we are largely able to deal with the disruption and calamity caused by localized natural disasters or collapse of man-made systems, we have rarely had the dramatic challenge at a global level like we are experiencing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The impact of physical distancing and social isolation for individuals, communities, enterprise, businesses, institutions and governments is intense. We see the diverse web of interconnectivity of all our systems, and our weaknesses and vulnerabilities are exposed.

As we move through the initial aspects of the public health emergency it is critical that we continue to maintain the effective tactics ordered by Dr. Bonnie Henry, our provincial health officer, including physical distancing, frequent handwashing and only going out on essential business, that have helped British Columbia keep our transmission rates relatively low.

The pre-COVID-19 world is unlikely to return. With governments around the world looking toward a slow and measured lifting of restrictions two issues remain front and centre. First, we must not move too quickly so as to limit the consequences of future waves of infections. Second, we must take steps to ensure our communities remain whole.

READ ALSO: MLA Adam Olsen fears COVID-19 will overwhelm medical facilities on Gulf Islands

Small business operators in our villages and towns, arts and culture organizations, agricultural operations and their advocates have been vocal about the extreme difficulties their sectors face in the post-COVID-19 world.

However, through the same entrepreneurial and creative spirit that inspire building, growing and nurturing healthy communities and ideas many are adjusting their approach and evolving with the ever-changing public health and safety requirements.

Local, regional and national initiatives like the Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce’s Woo Hoo Wednesday (#woohoowednesday) to boost the Google reviews of local businesses or National Takeout Day (#NationalTakeoutDay) to support restaurants offering food pick-up or delivery services, are first steps forward.

Artists, musicians and the creative community are also finding new ways to connect with people. Online events like the Great Canadian Kitchen Party and #ShowcaseBC are utilizing virtual platforms to create a sense of connectivity in a time of social isolation.

These are just a few of the ideas that have caught my attention. More local food is being grown, new services are being organized, upstart collectives have grown out of necessity to provide products and services.

Let’s rally together for our communities by supporting these local initiatives. The global marketplace has some incredible benefits, but we are seeing its weaknesses. As we recover from this public health and economic crisis, investing more in local will mean we have more sustainable and resilient communities networking with their neighbours to create regions that have a greater capacity to support each other so we have to rely less on global supply chains.

READ ALSO: Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce warns of economic consequences from COVID-19

In the coming weeks and months those businesses and services that we have relied on to be there when we need them, will need you to be there for them. If at all possible, please choose local first.

Check out the local advocacy organizations such as the Chambers of Commerce website and social media accounts to get up-to-date listings of the businesses in your community that are open to serve you.

Thank you for doing your part to limit the spread of COVID-19 and protect our healthcare workers and system. Thank you for doing your part to support our local community.

Adam Olsen is MLA for Saanich North and the Islands

Green Party

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

Just Posted

Langford pitches Westhills as Canadian Premier League soccer hub

Langford could host all eight teams for August matches

Cancelled cruise ships costs Victoria more than $130 million

Transport Canada bans ships until end of October in response to COVID-19

Point-guard lobs no-look, three-pointer for Oak Bay High video

Trick-shot only took three times, says Oak Bay teen

Saanich residents sound alarm after second owl dies of rat poison

Great Horned Owl found in Kings Park killed by three rodenticides

Person finds bag of drugs while out for walk in Langford

Police ask residents, drivers to check surveillance footage

VIDEO: Victoria dental staff dance to *NSYNC to promote reopening

Urban Smiles staff ‘want you back’ after closure in response to pandemic

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

B.C. aquaculture farm’s employees sweat it out to raise funds for food banks

For every five minutes of exercise recorded, Cermaq Canada is donating a dollar to local food banks in communities they operate

Condition in kids with possible COVID-19 link being studied in Canada

This month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an alert to doctors about MIS-C

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

COVID cancelled their wedding plans, so they married on a BC mountaintop

Ceremony was live streamed to friends and family around the world

Stepdad able to walk bride down the aisle days before he passes away

Ceremony held amidst pandemic in order to fulfill bride’s wish to have stepdad give her away

Trudeau acknowledges racial unrest in U.S.; ‘We also have work to do in Canada’

‘Anti-black racism, racism, is real; it’s in the United States, but it’s also in Canada,’ Trudeau says

Most Read