While the data has shown an encouraging trend of ‘flattening the curve’ in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the dangers posed by the spread of the coronavirus remain.
Provinces across the country have taken measures aimed at preventing the transmission of COVID-19, however, those actions — while necessary — have come with severe economic costs.
As businesses adjust and adapt to the new normal of living in the coronavirus era, Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison is encouraging people to support and shop local as much as possible.
“I’m really hoping, for the short term, people still support our small businesses. Take-out Tuesday, I think is one thing that people can do just to help some of the restaurants and some of the other establishments that are still delivering food or safe pick up,” Morrison said.
“…I think we can help those businesses out, staying local, even as we start the economic recovery, just to help some of the businesses get off the ground again.”
Morrison acknowledges that it’s still unclear what can be considered ‘normal’ as provinces grapple with easing restrictions that affect the food and service industry or large events.
“What is normal? We don’t even know how long it’s going to be until we can actually get out there and do exactly what we were doing before, if we ever will,” said Morrison.
Part of navigating the economic recovery will be getting back to parliamentary business, which has provided billions in emergency economic relief through a variety of federal assistance programs.
Morrison said while approximately $200 billion has been earmarked for COVID-10 related assistance, some people are falling through the cracks.
Earlier this week, the major political parties kicked around a process for holding Question Period in order to publicly question government MPs, eventually voting on sitting once a week in-person with a reduced number of parliamentarians and supplemented by additional meetings through video-conferencing.
“We were asking for three question periods a week,” said Morrison, “to have the government there, so we could ask questions on what’s happening with, for example, small business relief and what are they spending the money on and just holding them accountable as we would in normal Parliament.”
Morrison also noted that he had concerns about how broadband infrastructure, or lack thereof, might affect the participation of rural MPs in parliamentary business.