June 22, 2020

For Immediate Release

British Columbians call on Premier Horgan to “Build Back Better” as Legislature reconvenes

Victoria, B.C. — Today, B.C. MLAs gathering for the first day of the summer legislative session were met by volunteers from the citizen action group Dogwood, who held a physically distant demonstration on the lawn of the Legislature calling on the government to “Build Back Better” after COVID-19.

Dogwood volunteers holding five foot letters that spell out 'Build BC Back Better' on the Legislature lawn with the Legislature building in the background.

Today’s sitting marks the first time MLAs have returned to the B.C. Legislature since it was suspended during the pandemic. A top priority for the session will be managing the province’s re-opening strategy, including allocating $1.5 billion of stimulus funding independent of the provincial budget.

Cheryl Cameron of Dogwood, who organized the demonstration said: “We’re here today to call on the government to make good on its commitment to build a fairer, healthier, greener B.C. as we emerge from COVID-19. We can do better than business as usual. British Columbians support the Premier’s vision to build a better B.C. — but we’re waiting to see what kind of projects his government chooses to invest in.”

Dogwood has launched a crowd-sourced interactive map showing British Columbians’ ideas for pandemic recovery projects. The projects span every corner of the province, and include renewable energy, housing, transportation, innovation and food security investments.

Finance Minister Carole James has said the pandemic revealed inequalities in the provincial economy, and that the recovery is a chance to build a strong, resilient, innovative economy that leaves no one behind. The government’s priorities for the recovery include equity, climate change and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.

Alexandra Woodsworth, Campaigns Manager at Dogwood, said: “The pandemic has shown that the government can act decisively to mobilize its significant resources for the collective good. We need to see the same vision with post-COVID recovery spending, which is an opportunity to make a leap forward on climate action, improving life in Indigenous communities, and addressing affordable housing and the opioid crisis.”

At today’s demonstration, Dogwood volunteers spelled out ‘Build Back Better’ in giant letters on the Legislature lawn, and shared the Better B.C. project map with MLAs as they entered the building.

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Click here for a Google Drive link to photos from the lawn of the Legislature.

For more information:

Alexandra Woodsworth, Campaigns Manager