A comprehensive provincewide COVID-19 vaccine program was launched on December 15, 2020 which provides optimism for the end of the pandemic. It is recognized, however, that the supply of vaccine and other logistics impact the schedule for the vaccination of a large majority of the population. The current circumstances in early 2021 could continue for weeks and months to come. An opportunity exists for even greater collaboration with industry to more specifically target actions to reduce transmission of COVID-19 in workplaces.
The virtual Industry Engagement Table will be chaired by the Honourable Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation (JERI) whose mandate letter directs him to “support people and businesses in the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic by continuing to deliver initiatives that will directly support small businesses and build an inclusive economic recovery across B.C.”
Other ministries will participate in support, including but not limited to the Ministry of Labour and the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. The Provincial Health Officer will be included along with WorkSafeBC, as the regulator of the occupational health and safety system.
Roles and Responsibilities:
The primary functions of the Table are to:
- take steps to support the Provincial Health Officer to reduce the transmission of COVID-19;
- share best practices and challenges with respect to steps to reduce transmission in workplaces;
- receive occasional advance notice of potential new or changed public health measures and provide advice and input on impact, opportunities, challenges and unintended consequences;
- identify opportunities to partner with other industry associations, WorkSafeBC, and/or the Provincial Health Officer, where applicable and appropriate, on messaging and strategies to reduce transmission; and
- identify opportunities for collaborative and wide-ranging communications on issues, best practices and opportunities for reducing transmission.
The NCDA joins leading business associations including the BC Business Council, BC Chamber of Commerce and Greater Vancouver Board of Trade, amongst others.